BRUSSELS – The United States will send a record 20,000 soldiers to Europe for participation in Defender Europe-20 drills marking the most significant deployment to the continent in the past 25 years, the US European Command (EUCOM) announced on Monday.
“Approximately 37,000 US allies and partner nation service members are expected to participate with roughly 20,000 soldiers deployed from the US,” the EUCOM said in a statement, Sputnik reported.
The command added that the US military would dispatch a division headquarters as well as three tank brigades, as part of the upcoming war games. The drills will take place in 10 different countries with the principal exercises taking place in Germany and Poland.
The large-scale military exercises and related activities will cost about $340 million, the command announced. The joint multinational drills will take place in April-May 2020 with personnel and equipment movements starting in February.
According to Major General Jeffrey Kramer, in charge of the EUCOM exercises, Defender Europe-20 will show resolve to all adversaries at a strategic level. Kramer stated that the war games would be “the biggest thing since Reforger”, referring to the large-scale military exercises held during the Cold War era.
NATO regularly holds major international exercises in Europe, in particular, on Europe’s Easternmost fringes near Russia. Moscow has repeatedly objected against NATO’s build-up on the alliance’s Eastern flank, saying that it will undermine regional stability and result in further tensions.