In the spring of 2020, more than 20,000 US troops will be deployed across the Atlantic to NATO’s eastern flank. Thus, within the framework of the Defender-Europe 20 maneuvers, the largest deployment of American troops on the European continent since the end of the Cold War will take place.
That is in addition to the already 17,000 NATO troops that are already in Europe and will take part in the war games.
The movement of the main US forces to Europe is planned for April – May next year, but taking into account the scope of the event, troops and equipment will begin to arrive in February.
Most of the American forces will arrive by civilian passenger planes, and almost 13,000 units of military equipment and weapons will be delivered by sea.
Notably, one armored brigade of the US National Guard from Idaho will arrive without weapons and equipment and use the property stored in American storage facilities in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
The 20,000-strong deployment includes 7,000 National Guard personnel, from 12 states and approximately 750 people from the US Armed Forces reserve.
Simultaneously with Defender-Europe 20, another 24 operational and combat training events are planned, which will be connected by a single scenario and organized by both the USs and the European allies and partners of the Alliance. In total, 7 separate events part of the single scenario will take place throughout the year.
Among them will be the Joint Warfighting Assessment 2020 command post exercise, which is likely to become a “testing ground” for new concepts, including the doctrine of fighting on a multi-domain battlefield.
The exercises planned for the first half of the year can be found on NATO’s website.
As part of the Swift Response 2020 maneuvers, NATO allies and partners will work out the issues of moving high-readiness forces to the designated area and improving the interoperability of the allied forces.
Part of the American armored brigade, which is located in Poland, will carry out the transfer to Lithuania through the Suvalki corridor during the annual Saber Strike maneuvers in Poland and the Baltic states.
The “Dynamic Front 2020” exercise is planned (May 2 – 8) with live fire at training grounds, during which the capabilities of the artillery of various NATO members.
The exercises “Allied Spirit XI” will be devoted to the development of offensive and defensive operations, the purpose of which will be to increase the compatibility of the troops of allies and partners.
As part of these maneuvers, the Polish 12th Mechanized Brigade will be involved in the strike group, and the Polish 9th Armored Cavalry Brigade will fill the role of the enemy force.
The 9th Armored Cavalry Brigade is equipped with PT-91 Twardy battle tanks – modernized Soviet T-72 battle tanks.
Czech and US aviation will also take part in the exercise.
As part of the “Allied Spirit XI”, the crossing of a water barrier is planned at the Darvsk-Pomorsk training ground.
The American 1st Cavalry Division will be responsible for this task, the allocated forces of which are currently serving in the advanced command of the US division in Poznan.
During the exercise, a British-German sapper unit will build a pontoon bridge.
In the list of major maneuvers planned simultaneously with Defender-Europe 20 in Poland, there are of course the largest national exercises with NATO allies Anakonda-20 in late May. The Anaconda-20 exercise would involve 80,000 troops from Poland alone, not taking into account whatever troops other allies will send.
The Anakonda-20 exercise is a scenario of an escalation just before a war begins, and sets out how the US would deploy troops to Europe to assist, which is also why the US is deploying so many soldiers for Defender-Europe 20.
In addition, exercises will be held on the territory and in the airspace of Poland to test the Polish component of the NATO air operations management system “Eagle Talon-20 in early May.
“In the spring of 2020, Poland will become the “epicenter” of the exercises,” said General Sean Bernabe, deputy chief of staff of the US North Command in Europe.
The concentration of numerous NATO forces at the borders of Belarus and Russia and the scenarios of the maneuvers in the case of presumed Russia aggression are a cause of concern. There is also currently no reciprocal measure or war games announced by Russia and its allies.
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