Thousands of troops will take part in massive Defender Europe 2022 exercises on NATO’s eastern flank

Poland will be one of the main host countries for the U.S.-led military exercises

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: forsal.pl
Polish troops march after the Justice Sword 21 exercise at the Smardan military shooting range, Romania, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A total of 18,000 troops from over 20 countries will take part in the Defender Europe 2022 and Swift Response 2022 military exercises, including about 7,000 troops on the territory of Poland.

The exercises will take place between May 1 and May 22, 2022, mainly in Poland, the Baltic states, Norway, Romania, and North Macedonia. The Polish Ministry of Defense announced that the military drills are a part of a “series of regular defensive exercises, they are not directed at any country, and they have no connection to the current geopolitical situation in the region.”

National and international process of planning the exercises already began in 2021.

Defender Europe 22 (DE22) is a regular, joint and international exercise, led by U.S. forces, which aims to build readiness and interoperability between allies and partners of the U.S. and NATO. Poland, as one of the host countries of DE22, will be represented by the mechanized, airborne, and engineer troops, as well as the Territorial Defense Force (WOT) and parts of the Polish Air Force.

“7,000 troops from NATO and partner countries and 3,000 equipment pieces will take part in joint exercises in Poland,” wrote Polish Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak.

The Polish Ministry of Defense stated that apart from soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces, troops from the U.S., France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, and Great Britain will participate in the exercise under Defender Europe 22 on the territory of Poland.

“V Corps of the US Army is in command of all the forces participating in the DE22 exercises,” said the Polish Ministry of Defense.

During the exercise, soldiers’ ability to cooperate in a joint combat operation will be tested.

“Among others, tactical episodes of long-distance movement with crossing water obstacles and a fire exercise will be realized,” according to the ministry of defense.

During the Swift Response 22 exercise, the 6th Airborne Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces will be the core of the troops engaged in the airborne operation. Approximately 550 Polish soldiers will be participating on the territory of Lithuania and Latvia, along with soldiers from Czechia and Dutch-German forces.

It was noted that “redeployment of large quantities of troops and equipment, realized within those exercises requires a multidimensional commitment from the host countries.” The ministry explained that “joint exercises improve the Eastern flank’s security and aim to practice, under the NATO standards, the procedures of using troops and their adaptation to the new challenges of the modern battlefield and deterring a potential aggressor.”

According to the Polish Ministry of Defense, Defender Europe 2022 is the evidence of the “unwavering U.S. commitment to NATO and is a perfect showcase of the joint capabilities.” It shows that the partners and allies in NATO are stronger together, added in the Polish Ministry of Defense statement. .

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