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Multinational Exercise Defender 23 Kicks Off This Month in Europe

Nearly 9,000 American troops are expected to participate in the Defender 23 exercise which kicks off April 22, the deputy Pentagon press secretary said today. 


"This annual, nearly two-month long exercise is focused on the strategic deployment of U.S.-based forces, employment of Army pre-positioned stocks and interoperability with European allies and partners," said Sabrina Singh, during a briefing today at the Pentagon.

The Defender 23 exercise is led by U.S. Army Europe and Africa and has been planned since 2021. The exercise is designed to demonstrate the U.S. military's ability to rapidly deploy combat-credible troops and equipment to assure allies, deter those who would threaten the peace of Europe and defend the continent from aggression. The exercise also demonstrates the commitment of European nations to increase the scale, capability and interoperability of their own militaries. 

"Approximately 9,000 U.S. troops and about 17,000 troops from 26 allied and partner nations will participate and portions of the exercise will stretch across 10 different European countries," Singh said.

Military ambulances drive on a dirt road.
Defender 22
U.S. Army ambulance vehicles assigned to the 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, prepare to head out for an ambulance exchange point training as a part of joint multinational medic training during Defender 22 at Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, May 26, 2022.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Tara Fajardo Arteaga, National Guard
VIRIN: 220526-Z-KT633-2101
Multiple tanks line up in a field.
Defender 22
U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, arrive on their assigned M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicles prior to live demolition training as part of Defender 22 at Oberlausitz Training Area, Germany, May 10, 2022.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Gabriel Rivera, National Guard
VIRIN: 220510-Z-TS965-1005M
Soldiers stand in a tank while a helicopter flies above them.
Bradley Observation
Soldiers watch an exercise from their Bradley Fighting Vehicle as a Polish attack helicopter flies overhead during Defender Europe 22 at Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, May 16, 2022.
Photo By: Army Capt. Tobias Cukale
VIRIN: 220516-A-JR201-1005
Singh said equipment to support the exercise began arriving this week in Spain. About 7,000 pieces of equipment were shipped to the European theater from the U.S., she said. Additionally, about 13,000 pieces of equipment, drawn from pre-positioned stock, will be used during Defender 23. 

*This story has been edited for clarity from previous versions. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

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