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 Mar 13 2020

DEFENDER-EUROPE 20 - HEALTH AND WELFARE ARE PRIORITY

 

In the light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, modifications have been decided and will reduce the number of participants from the United States in DEFENDER-Europe 20. This may cause an impact on NATO allies attending the exercise as well. The entire maneuver does not face cancellation.

 

“The health protection of our force, and that of our Allies and partners is a top concern. We take the coronavirus outbreak seriously,” U.S. EUCOM said in a release. Since early February troops and equipment deployments arrived regularly in Europe. Defender-Europe 20 is scheduled until June in seven European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. All countries have reported COVID-19 cases.

Details on the scope of changes will follow. U.S. EUCOM is working through the details with its Allies and partners to agree on adjustments.

The health protection of our force, and that of our Allies and partners is a top concern.
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Apart from military training objectives, the health of participating soldiers remains a priority. This measure is to at least mitigate the spread of the virus and to support local containment efforts.

NATO has taken precautionary measures based on the guidance of the World Health Organization to safeguard the health of its personnel, family members and home nations. Daily operations continue, with measures implemented to reduce the exposure and potential transmission of the virus and NATO is conducting continuous assessments as the situation is dynamic.

The modification of the exercise will not harm NATO’s ability to protect all Allies and to protect our shared values. Our nations, Allies, partners, and potential adversaries should know that our forces remain ready.


 

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Staff officers from NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) visit British Royal Engineers in Minden, northwestern Germany to learn about amphibious engineering ahead of the Corps’s participation in Exercise ‘Defender Europe 20’. The troops from the British Army’s 23 Amphibious Engineer Squadron will play a key role during the massive US-led exercise where they will come under the command of the multinational NATO corps. The staff officers witnessed the Royal Engineers rehearse 'wide wet gap' crossing drills on their M3 Amphibious Rigs at their German base on the River Weser. (Photos by British Army Sergeant Alistair Laidlaw)
U.S. Army Sgt. Rovillo, assigned to the 352nd ETOE from Sanford, Florida, checks cargo onto the M/V Liberty Passion during Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20, at the Joint Base Charleston Naval Weapons Station, South Carolina, March 10, 2020. The series of activities comprising DEFENDER-Europe 20 and linked exercises will be the largest deployment of U.S.- based Army forces to Europe for an exercise in the last 25 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Phifer)
Staff officers from NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) visit British Royal Engineers in Minden, northwestern Germany to learn about amphibious engineering ahead of the Corps’s participation in Exercise ‘Defender Europe 20’. The troops from the British Army’s 23 Amphibious Engineer Squadron will play a key role during the massive US-led exercise where they will come under the command of the multinational NATO corps. The staff officers witnessed the Royal Engineers rehearse 'wide wet gap' crossing drills on their M3 Amphibious Rigs at their German base on the River Weser. (Photos by British Army Sergeant Alistair Laidlaw)

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