At the start of next year, the US will dispatch three tank brigades and thousands of other types of troops to Europe to participate in the largest US-led military exercise on the continent in the last 25 years, writes Stars and Stripes, the US Defense Department newspaper.
The press service of the United States European Command (EUCOM) announced that the Defender Europe 2020 exercises will be held in Europe next year. The drills will be conducted in ten countries, but primarily in Germany and Poland.
37,000 military personnel will be involved in the exercise, including 20,000 US troops. The military vehicles and equipment will start to arrive in Europe in February, and the drills will be held over the course of April and May.
“Readiness is not only about having the right forces and capabilities in place throughout the theater, it’s about exercising our ability to quickly receive and integrate forces with our own and those of our allies and partners,” said Lieutenant General Christopher Cavoli, U.S. Army Europe commander, in a statement.
According to the German news outlet Der Spiegel, Germany will serve as the logistical center of the exercises. The news site notes that troops from 19 NATO states will participate in the maneuvers.
“These exercises will provoke a reaction from Russia, which will inevitably lead to further escalation. Apparently the word ‘de-escalation’ does not exist in NATO’s vocabulary,” observed Alexander Neu, a member of the German Bundestag’s defense committee. He urged Berlin to refuse to participate in the exercises and not to allow them to be held in German territory.