The upcoming exercise is intended to demonstrate NATO’s commitment to a strategy of containment even in the face of a pandemic.
Planned exercises by the US and its NATO allies in Europe have been postponed to June due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This was reported on Twitter by Voice of America special correspondent Jeff Selden, concerning the US European Command and the Polish defense Ministry.
The “modified” exercise called Allied Spirit will involve 6,000 American and Polish soldiers. The activities will be held at the Polish military training ground Dravsko-Pomorskoe from June 5 to 19.
They will include elements such as airdrops and crossing the water barrier. The command informs that all precautions will be taken to ensure the health of military personnel, as well as to protect the local population from infection with coronavirus.
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) May 13, 2020
These June exercises will replace the more massive DEFENDER-Europe 20 maneuvers planned for May but canceled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of these exercises is to work out the interaction of the allies in the framework of the deterrence strategy, as well as to work out the tasks of deploying troops.
In the coming months, according to the US command, US forces in Europe are planning to conduct additional exercises that “will use many of the initial training goals” of DEFENDER-Europe 20. The US military, along with its allies and partners, will work out tasks in the Baltic and black sea regions, as well as in the Balkans.
The details of these training activities are still under development and may be changed. They, according to the plan of the American command, should demonstrate a “firm commitment” of the United States to its obligations within the North Atlantic Alliance.