Yesterday, (24 January 2024) NATO launched its biggest military exercise in decades with 90,000 personnel set to take part in months-long maneuvers spanning the North Atlantic and Europe and ending in May. NATO says that Exercise “Steadfast Defender” will test the Alliance’s ability to defend against a near-peer adversary in an Article 5 scenario (This refers to collective defence which declares that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.). Future member, Sweden, will also take place.
Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, is NATO’s largest exercise in decades, involving some 90,000 personnel. Yesterday, the dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) departed Norfolk, Virginia, United States and following a series of operations will commence her transit across the Atlantic. The NATO-led exercise is designed to ensure that our forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. It allegedly demonstrates the value of North America and Europe working together to keep our nations safe in a challenging security environment.
The drills simulate war with Russia, despite there being no current reason for us to go to war with the country. Ukraine, a former part of Russia, is not a member of NATO. Yet here we sit, all geared up and ready to go to war against Putin.
Operation Steadfast Defender 2024?— Not A Number (@myhiddenvalue) January 23, 2024
NATO Press Release
The departure of USS Gunston Hall marks the first tactical movement of Steadfast Defender 24. His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Charlottetown, will depart Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for Europe later this month.
The Alliance will demonstrate its ability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic area via trans-Atlantic movement of forces from North America
Planned over the course of several years, Steadfast Defender 24 will highlight NATO’s ability to deploy forces rapidly from North America and other parts of the Alliance to reinforce the defence of Europe.
“The Alliance will demonstrate its ability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic area via trans-Atlantic movement of forces from North America,” said General Christopher Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). “Steadfast Defender 2024 will be a clear demonstration of our unity, strength, and determination to protect each other, our values and the rules-based international order.”
Meanwhile in Russia
Russia is conducting an information operation to misrepresent NATO’s defensive “Steadfast Defender 2024” exercises – a response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Russian threats directed towards NATO members – as provocative.
Steadfast Defender 24 will take place in several locations, with associated exercises running until May 31, 2024. It will be the first large scale NATO exercise where new defence plans will be put into action. It will show that NATO can conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of kilometres, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe, and in any conditions.