The command of the US Armed Forces in Europe on its website (https://www.eur.army.mil/DefenderEurope/) announced the resumption of the exercise Defender Europe 2020, suspended due to a coronavirus pandemic.
Now the exercise will be called “Defender Europe 2020 Plus.” The dates, goals and scope of the maneuvers have changed.
The official statement said that “after careful assessment and planning between U.S. Army Europe and the Polish Ministry of Defense, exercise Allied Spirit, a DEFENDER-Europe 20 linked exercise, originally scheduled for May, will take place at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, June 5-19.
So, time and place are known. And what about the scale of the event? The coronavirus pandemic nevertheless made its own adjustments, and the largest teaching in the last quarter century can no longer be.
The number of participants and the objectives of the event have been changed. The initial goal of the Defender of Europe 2020 exercise was to test and demonstrate the ability to transfer divisions of the divisional level from the continental United States to Europe and organize interaction with allies.
Now about the goal of the exercise – the U.S. and Polish bilateral exercise will feature a Polish airborne operation and a U.S.-Polish division-size river crossing. At the same time, the Polish side considers the goal of the exercise to strengthen the security of Poland and other countries on the eastern flank of NATO.
Of the 18 participating countries, two remained. Initially, about 37,000 people, several thousand units of armored vehicles, hundreds of aircraft and helicopters were planned to participate. Maneuvers were to take place on the territory of 10 states. As a result, about 6,000 troops of the US and Polish Armed Forces, 100 tanks and more than 230 combat vehicles will take part in the exercise. Of those, approximately 4,000 U.S. Soldiers will come from the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters (Forward); 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; and approximately 2,000 Polish Soldiers will come from the 6th Polish Airborne Brigade; 9th Polish Armored Calvary Brigade; and 12th Polish Mechanized Brigade.
In fact, it turns out that the number of participants decreased by six times, military equipment – by 10 times, out of 18 countries, two remained.
However, the US Armed Forces command will achieve its true goals. The ability to deploy mechanized divisions to the European continent to the world has been demonstrated. Maneuvers involving modern weapons will be carried out.
And this means that a demonstration of the power of American weapons will take place. And for successful sales of tanks or cannons, it doesn’t matter how many of them shot or drove at the training ground. The epidemic will not hinder this either.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.