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NATO drills in Europe send message to Russia

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NATO allies and partners are deploying troops in a series of long-planned military exercises taking place from the High North to the Balkans, to improve NATO forces’ readiness and interoperability.

According to NATO‘s spokesperson, Oana Lungescu, albeit the exercises were long-planned, they will show NATO’s commitment to protecting European territorial integrity.

Currently, US, British, Estonian, and Latvian forces are taking part in the exercise “Arrow 22,” which includes UK Challenger 2 tanks and US Stryker armored fighting vehicles.  Finland and Sweden, NATO allies, will participate in several Allied drills in the coming weeks.

Defender Europe” and “Swift Response” are two of the largest drills currently taking place in Poland and eight other nations, each having roughly 18,000 troops from twenty countries. In North Macedonia, exercises include parachute drops and helicopter attacks.

In Estonia, 15,000 troops from 14 nations are participating in exercise “Hedgehog,” one of the country’s largest military drills since 1991, which includes the US navy’s Wasp-class landing ship Kearsarge.

Meanwhile, 3,000 Allied troops and roughly 1,000 vehicles, including German vehicles, are participating in the exercise “Iron Wolf” in Lithuania. Another drill, “Wettiner Heide,” a NATO Response Force exercise, is taking place in Germany with 7,500 troops.

The USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group will be placed under NATO command for the second time this year during the “Neptune series” of naval drills in the Mediterranean.

The “Ramstein Legacy” exercise, which will take place in Poland and the Baltic countries in June, will be Europe’s largest integrated air and missile defense exercise, involving 23 countries. NATO troops will also participate in BALTOPS, a major exercise that has been held annually for over 50 years and will see amphibious training across the Baltic region.

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