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NATO concludes largest exercise in decades

3rd June 2024 - 17:31 GMT | by Damian Kemp in London


British M3 Amphibious Rig loading French LecLerc Tanks crossing the Vistula River in Poland during Operation Steadfast. (Photo: NATO SHAPE Public Affairs Office)

NATO’s Operation Steadfast Defender involved more than 90,000 personnel, more than 50 ships, more than 80 aircraft flying hundreds of sorties and more than 1,100 combat vehicles from all 32 NATO allies.

NATO concluded its largest exercise in decades on 31 May following an effort which took place as war raged in Ukraine.

Steadfast Defender built on regional defence plans approved at the Vilnius Summit in mid-2023 which also saw the foundation of the NATO-Ukraine Council.

The summit included a commitment “to further improve the readiness, preparedness and interoperability of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence, in particular through regular training and rotational presence of modern air defence systems and capabilities”.

The first part of Steadfast Defender was a maritime-focused live exercise which included rehearsing the strategic deployment of forces from North America

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Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp

Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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