In May main activities of the United States-led exercise Defender Europe 21 begin, it will involve several tens of Lithuanian military personnel as well. These activities will be trained in a number of training areas in Southern Europe this year, therefore the Lithuanian Armed Forces will be represented specifically by Host Nation Support personnel training to ensure all necessary provision to Allied forces transiting Lithuania.
The bulk of the exercise activities, tactical training and live firing exercises, will be held in Southern Europe ¬– Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Croatia, and also in Estonia, Germany, Greece and Hungary with small and easily deployable elements of the Allied forces. Over 5,000 troops from NATO and partner nations will be training live fires in military sites of the aforementioned countries.
Exercise Defender Europe 21 will encompass several linked and associated exercises: Swift Response will train 7,000 soldiers from 11 countries airborne operations in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania from early to mid-May. Immediate Response and Saber Guardian will run until early June: exercised participants will conduct live firing and large-scale logistical and medical evacuation operations in the countries indicated earlier. In June Defender Europe 21 will wrap with a command-post exercise in Europe and Africa.
In total, Defender Europe 21 will involve approx. 30,000 soldiers from 26 countries. The training will be carried out in over 30 training areas of 13 European countries. It is an annual defensive training event led by the United States Army Europe, designed to hone interoperability of the U.S. and other NATO allies and partners in planning and executing defensive and crisis response operations.
Information credits: Lithuanian Armed Forces
Photo credits (illustrative): Sgt Spc 1st Class Ieva Budzeikaitė