US preparing for its largest military exercise in Europe in 25 years

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The US military is preparing for the largest deployment in Europe in 25 years, by sending next year 20,000 additional soldiers to participate in exercises aimed at “showing its military strength” by confronting opponents such as Russia, as General Christopher Cavalli affirmed Monday.

And joining these 9,000 American military personnel already deployed in Europe, to participate in “Defender Europe 20” military exercises, in which the total number of participants will reach 37 thousand military allies.

The exercises are taking place between May and June in ten European countries, according to Cavalli, commander-in-chief of the US Ground Forces in Europe, for a group of reporters at the Pentagon.

In February, it will send troops and equipment to deploy 13,000 pieces of equipment.

This will be a logistical challenge in countries that were formerly European Union, where railways are narrower than those in Western Europe, and bridges are not equipped to withstand the 70-ton Abrams tanks.

After years of reducing its military presence in Europe after the Cold War, the exceptional US deployment of this number of soldiers reflects the strategic turmoil caused by the annexation of Crimea to Russia in 2014, which “changed everything,” according to the US general.

But the general declined to name Moscow as the main target opponent of these exercises.

The American navy, pilots, and infantrymen will arrive in Europe by air and sea, through many ports and military bases on the continent, especially the port of “La Rochelle”.

In addition to naval and air exercises, side exercises such as crossing a river in Poland, landing in Lithuania and leadership coordination training in Germany are expected.

The goal is to “show the extent to which the US military can quickly deploy as a major force to support NATO and respond to any crisis,” according to the US military.

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