NATO to hold largest military drills since the Cold War

Romanian servicemen board a helicopter during a U.S.-Romanian joint air assault exercise at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base, eastern Romania, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
By Dénes Albert
1 Min Read

NATO is expected to conduct its largest military exercise in decades next week with tens of thousands of military personnel participating in Steadfast Defender 2024, General Christopher G. Cavoli, Commander of the U.S. European Command, announced on Thursday.

According to Cavoli, the drills will run through May and involve nearly 90,000 troops, more than 50 ships, 80 aircraft, and 1,100 combat vehicles.

The exercise’s main objective is to rehearse how U.S. troops can reinforce European Allies on the alliance’s eastern border in case a conflict flares up with a “near-peer” adversary — a thinly veiled reference to Russia and China.

The last exercise of such magnitude was Reforger in 1988 toward the end of the Cold War, which involved 125,000 troops.

Besides current NATO members, candidate-state Sweden will also participate in the drill.

The major locations of the exercise will be the Baltic states and Poland, where it will simulate the rapid deployment of NATO’s quick reaction force. However, it is also understood that drills will take place in Romania and Norway.

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