NATO to hold its largest exercise since Cold War
In order to practice countering Russian aggression, NATO will hold the largest exercise since the Cold War, with more than 40,000 troops participating
This is reported by the Financial Times.
The Steadfast Defender exercise will take place next year, involving more than 50 ships and about 41,000 troops, as well as 500 to 700 air combat missions.
The exercises are designed to practice potential maneuvers against the enemy, with the Russian-led coalition as the model. In addition, these exercises will use real geographic data to create more realistic scenarios for the troops.
In total, 32 countries will participate in the exercise, including Sweden, which has not yet officially joined NATO.
The exercises will take place in Germany, Poland and the Baltic states in February and March. According to the new strategy, the Alliance will now conduct two major exercises each year instead of one. NATO members will also train to counter terrorist threats beyond their immediate borders.
In June last year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance would increase the number of its high-readiness forces from 40,000 to more than 300,000.
The Baltic states have been particularly vocal in calling for NATO to strengthen its eastern flank as Russian troops amass on the Belarusian border. NATO officials said the exercise is also seen as a key part of demonstrating to Moscow that the Alliance is ready to fight.
On Saturday, September 9, NATO countries launched a large-scale exercise off the coast of Estonia and Latvia to practice responding to a Russian attack and a possible counterattack.