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Mar 12 2020

SACEUR remarks on exercise modifications due to coronavirus

NATO, together with other international organisations, is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak. 

The health of our forces is vitally important to maintaining readiness to deter and defend our homelands.

In close coordination with Allies and Partners, we've embraced precautionary measures to safeguard the health not only of our personnel, but also of our communities.

In coordination with Allies and partners, and based on the guidance from the World Health Organization, we will modify Exercise Defender Europe 20 and we are assessing all other exercises.

The health of our forces is vitally important to maintaining readiness to deter and defend our homelands. We've implemented prudent measures to reduce the exposure and transmission of coronavirus to or from our forces, family members, and home stations.

The modification and, in some cases, reduction of exercises is a precautionary measure, and does not affect the ability of our forces to respond to threats, now or in the future.

Because we have exercised and worked closely together in a variety of scenarios, for many years, we are prepared and resilient. We are focused on sustaining our finely honed skills. And, valuable lessons learned from the cooperation and mere planning of exercises will still be captured. This makes us a better force.

We will continue to execute daily operations, with measures implemented to reduce the exposure and potential transmission of the virus.

The ability of NATO forces to quickly adapt to this situation, demonstrates strength, agility and resilience. Continuous assessments are on-going.

Our nations, allies, partners, and potential adversaries should know that our forces remain ready. NATO is steadfast in its commitment to protect all Allies and our shared values.


Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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