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US Army Equipment Departs America for DEFENDER 24

Library image of a fast sealift vessel carrying US Army equipment for a previous DEFENDER exercise in Europe [© Bob Morrison]

Ships carrying US Army equipment today departed America headed for Europe and the DEFENDER 24 exercise programme.

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Press Release, Wiesbaden, 04 April 2024: Ships departed the United States for Europe today carrying US Army equipment for the Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness 2024 exercise, or DEFENDER 24, the largest US Army exercise in Europe.

Scheduled to occur April 4 – May 31, DEFENDER 24 will involve more than 17,000 US and 23,000 multi-national service members from more than 20 Allied and partner nations. DEFENDER 24 is linked to NATO’s STEADFAST DEFENDER 24 exercise, and is comprised of three sub-exercises: SABER STRIKE, IMMEDIATE RESPONSE, and SWIFT RESPONSE.

“DEFENDER 24 compliments NATO’s STEADFAST DEFENDER 24, the Alliance’s largest military exercise since the Cold War, and demonstrates the United States’ ability to rapidly deploy forces to Europe to defend America’s security interests and every inch of NATO territory,” said Gen. Darryl Williams, commanding general for US Army Europe and Africa and NATO’s Allied Land Command.

DEFENDER 24 is focused on the strategic deployment of continental, US-based forces, employment of US Army prepositioned stocks, and interoperability with Allies and partners at exercise locations across 13 European countries. The exercise seeks to deter adversaries, transform operational mission command, build readiness, and strengthen the NATO Alliance.

Today’s departure of ships represents a milestone moment for the exercise, and its de facto beginning. The movement is the culmination of months of planning and coordination by the United States Transportation Command.

“We project and sustain the Joint Force,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel Tulley, director of operations for USTRANSCOM. “More than 80 percent of American forces are stationed in the continental United States and DEFENDER 24, combined with other global requirements, gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our capacity and capability to meet today’s and tomorrow’s national security demands.”

Library image of US Army Paratroopers on the drop zone during a previous DEFENDER / SWIFT RESPONSE exercise in Europe [© Bob Morrison]

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