U.S. European Command and the Department of the Army announced today the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe for an exercise in the last 25 years.
DEFENDER-Europe 20 will increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force and equipment from the United States to Europe; and alongside its allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis. DEFENDER-Europe 20 confirms that the U.S. commitment to NATO and the defense of Europe remains ironclad.
The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness between Allies and partners, and deter potential adversaries.
Approximately 37,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate with roughly 20,000 Soldiers deploying from the U.S.
Participating units will include a U.S. Army division headquarters, three armored brigade combat teams, a fires brigade, and a sustainment brigade; as well as planned U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps participation. Some units will deploy with their equipment from the United States while other U.S.-based units will deploy and draw Europe-based Army Prepositioned Stock vehicles and equipment.
“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 Lt. Gen Christopher Cavoli, U.S. Army Europe commanding general. “This ability is critical in projecting force at a moment’s notice, our readiness reassures our allies and deters potential adversaries.”
Eighteen countries are expected to participate, with exercise activities occurring across 10 countries.
“Conducting tough, realistic training alongside our allies and partners in Europe enhances those professional relationships that build trust and confidence in each other and increases our overall interoperability, readiness and the ability to collectively deter potential threats,” Cavoli said.
There will be several media events during the exercise, to include embed opportunities. Journalists interested in covering DEFENDER-Europe 20 should email USArmyEurope.MediaDesk@mail.mil.
U.S. European Command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands whose area of focus spans across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The command is composed of approximately 70,000 military and civilian personnel and is responsible for U.S. defense operations and relations with NATO and 51 countries. For more information about U.S. European Command, visit https://www.eucom.mil/.