The British Army has deployed 1,500 troops, 600 vehicles are to join more than 90,000 soldiers from 31 allied nations for NATO’s largest exercise in “over 40 years.”
The British Army have departed and are heading for Poland and will participate in the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War.
On Tuesday 7 Light Mechanised Brigade known as the “Desert Rats” with their Land Rovers, armoured vehicles and support vehicles were loaded onto a cargo vessel, MV Anvil Point close to Southampton.
Steadfast Defender is the large scale demonstration of NATO’s forces and is to demonstrate the alliance’s capability and to prepare and train for war with Russia.
HMS Prince of Wales has departed and will lead to the military maritime mission and on Monday set sail for Norway.
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Commodore James Blackmore, commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group leading the HMS Prince of Wales, said on Monday, “The UK has an unwavering commitment to NATO and collective deterrence and defence of the Euro-Atlantic region.
“There is no better demonstration of that than HMS Prince of Wales being at the heart of the upcoming NATO maritime exercises, the largest in over 40 years.”
In January NATO said in a statement, that approximately 90,000 troops from all 31 member states, including Sweden will all take part in the exercise Steadfast Defender, which “is poised to test and refine NATO’s defence plans for reinforcing European defences against a near-peer adversary.”
Sweden has not yet joined NATO, but on Tuesday Turkey ratified Stockholm’s alliance membership which now clears a major hurdle.
Even though Sweden has not joined the alliance as yet, they are already operating within NATO’s frameworks.
As part of NATO’s “Enhanced Forward Prescence” Stockholm are sending a battalion unit of between 600 and 800 troops and will remain in Latvia for six months.
The US 2nd Fleet and Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 personnel with a contingent of more than 100 personnel have deployed in Bodo Norway.
There the US 2nd Fleet will have established a maritime command, Commander Task Force North (CTF-N) to support NATO’s largest exercise in more than four decades.
Rear Admiral Benjamin Nicholson, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and deputy commander CTF-N, said, “The ships’ crew has already completed multiple training events and represented the United States as ambassadors during a port visit to Portsmouth, England.
“This exercise is about learning and teamwork. We will learn the tools and techniques to conduct future maritime operations and further develop our tactics and training as a team with our Allies and partners.”
Rear Admiral David Patchell, vice commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, and Commander CTF North said the NATO exercises are to solidify NATO’s readiness for war.
“Steadfast Defender is a chance to practice, to exercise, to come together, build relationships, and strengthen the readiness and unity that already exists,” said Patchell.
“NATO is stronger than it has ever been. This exercise represents another opportunity for over 90,000 sailors, aviators and soldiers to work together across the alliance.”
Rear Admiral Patchell added, “I’m thankful for the Sailors of U.S. 2nd Fleet, ESG-2 and all of our partners that are joining us.
“The commitment is outstanding, and you can see and you can feel the excitement, the readiness. This team is ready; ready to execute, ready to learn, ready to be creative and innovative as we go through this exercise.”