The Defence Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to say on Monday that the UK will send 20,000 troops to one of NATO’s largest military exercises since the Cold War.
Shapps will announce during a speed on Monday that members of the Army, Navy and RAF will perform military drill across Europe to practice repelling an invasion by Russian forces.
The 20,000 troops will be parts of Steadfast Defender exercise to provide “vital reassurance against the Putin menace” as the West stands at a “crossroads.”
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In the Lancaster House speech, Shapps is expected to say later today, “We are in a new era and we must be prepared to deter our enemies, prepared to lead our allies and prepared to defend our nation whenever the call comes.
“Today our adversaries are busily rebuilding their barriers, old enemies are reanimated, battle lines are being redrawn, the tanks are literally on Ukraine’s lawn and the foundations of the world order are being shaken to their core.
“We stand at a crossroads.”
The RAF will Poseidon P-8 surveillance aircraft and the F-35B Lightening attack jets and the Royal Navy will deploy over 20,000 sailors across eight warships and submarines and there will be more than 400 Royal Marines Commandos operating in the Arctic Circle.
Around 16,000 troops, artillery, helicopters and tanks will be sent by the British Army and the exercises will start in February.
Speaking last September, the chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, said of the exercise, “In 2024, the alliance will be holding its largest collective defence exercise since the Cold War: Steadfast Defender.
“Over 40,000 troops from across the alliance will exercise in Germany, Poland and the three Baltic states.”
“A new era of collective defence is upon us,” he continued.
“And NATO military authorities have been preparing for this era for years.
“We have never been stronger or readier.
“And yet… much more needs to be done in order to not only protect ourselves against current threats, but also against reconstituted threats and potential future threats.”