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"Steadfast Defender": NATO launches largest exercise since the Cold War, 90,000 troops to be deployed

Ivanna ShepelWorld
NATO launches largest military exercise in decades

OnJanuary 22, NATO will launch its largest military exercise in decades, Steadfast Defender 2024, which will last until the end of May. The last such NATO exercise took place during the Cold War in 1988.

This was reported by DW. These maneuvers will involve approximately 90,000 participants and are aimed at simulating a conflict with a "virtually equal enemy."

All NATO countries, as well as Sweden, which is a candidate country for membership in the Alliance, will take part in the large-scale military exercise Steadfast Defender 2024. The maneuvers, which will last until the end of May, will cover European territory from Norway to Romania. The Steadfast Defender scenario envisages a situation of a Russian attack on the territory of the allies, which would activate Article Five of the NATO Collective Defense Treaty.

The last such NATO exercise took place in 1988 and involved more than 125,000 soldiers. Since then, Trident Juncture has been considered the largest military exercise of recent decades, involving more than 50,000 troops in 2018.

The large-scale exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 is a manifestation of a new level of NATO readiness. More than 50 ships, including aircraft carriers and destroyers, as well as more than 80 fighters, helicopters and drones, and at least 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, will also take part in the exercise.

According to Allied Supreme Allied Commander Europe Christopher Cavoli, the exercise will demonstrate NATO's ability to conduct and sustain complex operations on land, air, sea, cyberspace and space over several months, stretching thousands of kilometers from the Far North to Central and Eastern Europe and in all conditions.

"This is a record number of troops that we can deploy and exercise on this scale, across the Alliance, across the ocean, from the United States to Europe," said Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer.

In addition, the Chairman of the Military Committee emphasized that war is not only a matter for the military, but also affects the entire society.

Earlier it was reported that Russia is trying to present NATO's Steadfast Defender 2024 defense exercises, which begin this week, as a provocation and aggression. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the aggressor country accused NATO of continuing a "show of force" on Russia's "doorstep."

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