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Large-scale military drill in Europe to go ahead despite coronavirus outbreak

By Max Civili | Press TV | March 11, 2020

Rome – As the coronavirus crisis intensifies in Italy and in many other EU countries, authoritative Italian daily Il Manifesto and independent broadcasters and websites have started to report on a large-scale military operation that is to take place across the Old Continent from April to July this year.

The operation, dubbed Defender Europe 20, will see the deployment of 20,000 US troops, equipment, and gear across European countries, where they will be joined by NATO allies’ military forces and partner nations for a series of drills and war games.

Defender Europe 20 comprises three phases, involving a total of 37,000 participants deployed in Germany — which is the main hub of the exercise — Belgium, Poland, and the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

There have been rumors that the Defender Europe 20 operation might be called off because of the coronavirus crisis that is affecting most member states of the bloc. However, according to the NATO and the US Army Europe website, all the parts involved will continue with the execution of the operation and all linked exercises as planned.

On March 4, in Zagreb, Croatia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the 29-member alliance will press ahead with the operation, mobilizing thousands of troops despite worries about the coronavirus. Stoltenberg said NATO was making contingency plans in case of a significant outbreak, but for the time being, exercises would go ahead as planned.

Last February, the first contingent of US troops, tanks, and equipment taking part in the Defender Europe 20 military exercise arrived in the northern German port of Bremerhaven.

March 11, 2020 - Posted by | Militarism |

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