JAGEL AIR BASE, Germany - Twenty-five NATO Allied and Partner Nations concluded exercise Air Defender 2023, on Friday, June 23, 2023 in Germany.
Planning for this exercise began in 2018, aiming to exercise air operations with Allied forces.
This exercise sends a message that NATO is ready to defend every inch of Allied territory
Around 10,000 service members with 250 aircraft from 25 nations arrived in Germany, flying between multiple Air Bases.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with pilots and aircrew during a visit to the exercise, commending German leadership and participants on their success.
NATO Secretary General Mr. Jens Stoltenberg and the German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius attend Exercise Air Defender 2023 Distinguished Visitors Day, June 20, 2023.- NATO photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kristin Savage
A US Navy Crew Chief prepares to launch a FA-18E Super Hornet during Exercise Air Defender 2023, June 21, 2023. - NATO photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kristin Savage
A Finnish Air Force Pilot and Crew Chief prepare to launch the F-18 Hornet during Exercise Air Defender 2023, June 21, 2023. - NATO photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kristin Savage
“This exercise sends a message that NATO is ready to defend every inch of Allied territory and to defend every inch of Allied air space," said Mr. Stoltenberg. “Air defence is important at all times to keep our people safe.”
Germany initiated the exercise to model a NATO Article 5 assistance scenario. Participants were under command of the German Air Force, who also took on the lead role as the logistics hub.
"Germany serves as a critical hub for sustainment and deployment of Allied Forces throughout Europe,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. “German leadership in our Alliance remains essential for peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
This large-scale exercise tested the Alliance’s ability to react and defend NATO air space, and to ensure the safety of our Allies.