NATO Announces Largest Military Exercise 


Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed

NATO on Thursday announced it would next week begin its largest military exercise in decades, involving 90,000 troops, testing allies’ ability over months to engage in a conflict with an adversary as capable as Russia.

Steadfast Defender will run to late May and involve units from all 31 NATO member countries plus candidate-member Sweden, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US General Christopher Cavoli, told journalists.

The British personnel, from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army, will deploy across Europe and beyond for the military alliance’s latest “Exercise Steadfast Defender,” alongside personnel from 31 other member countries and Sweden, which is a candidate to join the transatlantic alliance.

“Today’s NATO is bigger than ever, but the challenges are bigger too,” Shapps said in a wide-ranging speech in London, in which he warned “the international rules-based order” was facing rising dangers.

“And that’s why the UK has committed… the totality of our air, land and maritime assets to NATO,” he went on.

“In 2024 I am determined to do even more and that’s why I can announce today the UK will send in some 20,000 personnel to lead one of NATO’s largest deployments since the end of the Cold War.”

The UK contingent will include fighter jets and surveillance aircraft, the navy’s most advanced warships and submarines, and a full range of army capabilities, including special operations forces.

London will send a so-called Carrier Strike Group, which features its flagship aircraft carrier and F-35B fighter jets and helicopters, to the exercises in the North Atlantic, Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea.

Meanwhile some 16,000 soldiers will be deployed across eastern Europe from next month to June, taking with them tanks, artillery, helicopters, and parachutes.

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