Military Exercise Defender Europe-20 was Rolled Back: What Does It Mean for the Baltic States? This logistical aspect of Defender Europe-20 would have been vital. The national governments were responsible for maintaining such infrastructure, supported by sufficient civil resources. Defender Europe 20 is a massive, U.S.-led multinational training exercise scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. Practice will never make response options perfect but events such as these go a long way to proving that we can do what we need to do in a timely way. NATO nations have undertaken a wide range of measures to accelerate the movement of their forces and equipment. © NATO. Activities are planned to occur from February through to July 2020. Allies agreed to ensure that the necessary legislation, processes and procedures to facilitate rapid movement of personnel and equipment, including diplomatic clearances, are in place and fully implemented. In coordination with Allies and partners, US Army Europe also moved soldiers and equipment from multiple European ports and airports to training areas in Germany and Poland. The broader political and military impact of the pandemic will be the subject of significant study and various efforts to learn lessons are already underway. If the logistical capacity to deploy and employ force is nonexistent, the threat to employ that force cannot, by definition, be credible, and no adversary would need to allow itself to be deterred. Defender-Europe 20 and six other linked exercises in April and May will see the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe for an exercise in the more than 25 years. In the past, the infrastructure that was important to the military – such as railways, ports, airfields, national energy grids and hospitals – was mainly state-owned and consequently could easily be made available to the military. The Defender Europe-20 exercise had just begun, in Western media when many of its activities. As Allied governments have realised the need to return to high-profile, large-scale military activities on their sovereign soil, exercises of the scale of Defender-Europe 20 should be viewed as normal for our citizens. Germany was to be the Defender-Europe 20’s mission to train the ability to move large number of troops and equipment across the Atlantic and across Europe is important to the Alliance because it tests essential procedures and skillsets while demonstrating unified purpose. Cold War exercises, such as the REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) series, were designed to get a force into one country, with NATO being postured to defend a well-known location against a well-known adversary. 20,000 soldiers will deploy from the U.S. mainland, the equivalent of a heavy division, according to Brig. DEFENDER will involve a number of real pilots to evaluate, validate and demonstrate how and to what extent the DEFENDER framework will enable an effective holistic cyber-physical security ... IEEE ICMEW Virtual Workshop July 6, 2020; Subscribe. But in the last decades, the ownership of state infrastructure began to shift steadily into the hands of the private sector, which therefore began to play a much more crucial role in crisis management. Lithuania had begun. The ability of Allies to resist an armed attack will be heavily dependent on the state of their civil infrastructure and the availability of civil resources. The basis of this dilemma is that deterrence is non-linear and that the would-be deterree — Russia — must first recognize that what NATO is doing is actually deterrence. Although the exercise as planned will not occur, what we do know about it can already tell us much about the US commitment to Baltic defense, as well as the defense policy dilemma which continues to afflict NATO in the Baltic Sea region. Poland has also actively and ambitiously developed its infrastructure to accommodate an increased US military presence such as Defender Europe-20 and further similar exercises. In the event of a crisis, initial elements of NATO’s high readiness forces are ready to deploy to support an Ally, within hours, with a reinforcement force following closely at their heels. Defender Europe 2020 is an exercise of strategic defense and its objective is to counter a ‘Russian invasion.’ Since there is no indication that Moscow would ever seek to invade Europe, it’s clear that these exercises are anti-Russian in nature, and are yet another planned provocation against Russia. Getting the ground ready for such deployments means being prepared and flexible to be able to exercise the logistics effectively. To prove that NATO’s strategy and concepts worked, and to maintain visibility, Allied forces regularly exercised reinforcement. This excitement marks the beginning of “Defender Europe 2020”, the largest military exercises to be staged in Europe in over 25 years. The robust host nation support that reinforcing Allies are relying upon for this exercise, such as that provided by Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, is a model we can follow for the future. DEFENDER-Europe 20 “Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is a U.S.-led multinational exercise, including NATO's participation. NATO conducted Exercise Campaign Reforger (. However, there is no outward indication that Russia realizes this, but instead apparently sees all of NATO’s actions as inherently destabilizing — if not outright aggressive — against Russia. When considering the significance of Defender-Europe 20 to NATO, it is important for context to understand how we operated during the Cold War. Demonstrating the ability to move Allied forces into and across Europe at speed, and sustain them, was an important part of the exercise. Although Defender-Europe 20 was constrained due to precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has still provided Allies with a great opportunity to test their ability to receive and support large numbers of troops and equipment, including heavy armour (such as tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavy military engineering equipment) and to move them through their territories. © Copyright © 2000–2020. Work is underway in a number of areas, including: Legislative measures and diplomatic clearances to enable rapid crossing of borders, on land, in the air, and at sea; Effective command, control and communication; A British Army convoy crosses the Øresund Bridge, which connects Denmark and Sweden, during a 2,000-km journey from the Hook of Holland to Norway for NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2018. reveal that Defender Europe-20 would have been directed by the Department of the Army and led by US Army Europe (USAREUR). ‘Defender Europe 2020’ was supposed to be the largest NATO exercise in 25 years, encompassing smaller exercises that were scheduled to take place in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia starting in April and continuing into May. The large military exercise dubbed as the Defender Europe 2020 will be held in Europe next year. Despite its adaptation, the exercise continues and is providing the United States, its Allies and NATO many valuable lessons on the movement of forces and equipment across the Atlantic and within Europe. To give an idea, this is the third-largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War. Despite the need to adjust the scale of exercise activities, the time spent in planning and implementing it was invaluable. Defender-Europe 20 is the largest military deployment to Europe in 25 years, military officials say. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, US Army Europe took a prudent decision to modify Exercise Defender-Europe 20 in size and scope to protect forces and local populations. Current estimates indicate that private companies transport around 90 per cent of NATO supplies and equipment and provide about 75 per cent of host nation support. Everything about the Defender exudes quiet confidence, from its purposeful stance to its reductive, sophisticated surfaces. ” air assault exercises with the 82nd Airborne division as part of Defender Europe-20. With permanent All-Wheel Drive, two-speed transfer and unibody architecture, it’s ready for your next adventure. But the clear message is: the Alliance is ready and able to project its forces. Designed like no other. The drills will be conducted in ten countries, but primarily in Germany and Poland, according to the press service of the United States European Command (EUCOM). Besides merely surveying and testing local infrastructure, Defender Europe-20 had fortuitously also spurred further development of that infrastructure in anticipation of the exercise. or rolled back due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Much has already been written about Trump’s policies — or at least his political statements — which have preoccupied NATO’s European constituents for the past three years. Although NATO seems to have definitively and rightly decided in favor of the former horn of the dilemma over the latter, Russia has already begun to respond to Defender Europe-20. For example, the Belgian Army and Navy has provided security, refuelling facilities and driver rest accommodation in a Temporary Military Village built in the dock complex in the port of Antwerp. Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. © NATO, At the Brussels Summit in July 2018, Allies committed to “strengthening our ability to deploy and sustain our forces and their equipment, throughout the Alliance and beyond, and aim to improve military mobility by land, air, or sea, as soon as possible, but no later than 2024. Nowadays, all Allies recognise the interdependence of the military and private sector. This will inform our thinking about the importance to the Alliance of, among other things, resilient supply chains, robust logistics, assured access to critical infrastructure and strengthened civil-military interaction. For example, Allies are busy testing and improving tunnel access and bridge strengths for road convoys and rail movement. Despite uncertainty about Trump’s policy toward both NATO and Russia, military exercises are a vital means to gauge the extent of any defense commitment, such as that of the US to NATO’s self-defense clause, Article 5. Throughout NATO’s history, Allies have devoted a lot of attention to civil preparedness, which is a requirement set out in Article 3 of NATO’s founding treaty. In response to the complex and rapidly evolving security environment with challenges from the east and south of NATO’s borders, in Warsaw in 2016 Allied leaders pledged to strengthen resilience, reaffirming that civil preparedness is a national responsibility and acknowledging its relationship with reinforcement. Much was and is being learned, and there is always room to improve. In particular, the exercise is demonstrating Allies’ ability to provide support across multiple ministries in a whole-of-government approach, and tested arrangements to work closely with the commercial sector. Whatever the long-term impact of the coronavirus, the Allies remain committed to improving their resilience through civil preparedness so that they are able to recover from strategic shocks and surprise, while maintaining the ability to continue to support NATO’s deterrence and defence posture. many) annually between 1967 and 1993 for constant and consistent practice, which ensured that the US Army understood how to deploy reinforcements smoothly from the continental United States to Europe in case of a Soviet invasion. U.S. Army Europe and Africa trains and leads the U.S. Army Forces in the European and African theater in support of U.S. European Command, U.S. African Command and the Department of the Army. This is a civil-military team effort and requires the cooperation of diverse actors across a range of fields, including the engagement of the commercial sector, which provides significant capacity, including lift capabilities and infrastructure. The 504th CSC deployed to Poland in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20. We will need to look carefully at what our response to COVID-19 says about our enabled environment. All necessary institutional knowledge and expertise was already in place — how units would reach the eastern seaports of the US, through which ones they would cross the Atlantic, at which ports they would disembark, how they would move from those ports deeper into Europe, etc. All Rights Reserved. DEFENDER-Europe 20 was designed as a deployment exercise to build strategic readiness in support of the U.S. National Defense Strategy and NATO deterrence objectives. opinion, analysis and debate on security issues, U.S. European Command remains ready and responsive during the pandemic, VOSTOK 2018: Ten years of Russian strategic exercises and warfare preparation, Exercise Defender-Europe 20: enablement and resilience in action. The exercises will involve more than 37,000 participants, including 20,000 troops from the continental U.S. as well as 9,000 U.S. service members based in Europe. An earlier version of this article, published on March 30, 2020, noted that Defender Europe 2020 was cancelled. So overall, despite the fact that it was modified as a result of COVID-19, the US-led exercise Defender-Europe 20 is strategically significant to NATO. It has been vitally informative across many military and civil support functions, and lessons we have identified and are learning from the movement of the forces that arrived in Europe as part of this exercise will feed into NATO’s ongoing enablement efforts. Since the 1993 demise of Reforger, NATO generally and the US Army Europe more specifically have gradually lost not just that institutional knowledge, but in some cases even the logistical capability actually to make similar deployments. Unter den 37.000 Soldatinnen und Soldaten werden über 20.000 sein, die aus Kontinental-Amerika mitsamt Material und Fahrzeugen in West-Europa ankommen und danach durch 10 Länder gen Osten fahren. . The flipside of these preparations is the. DEFENDER. to its Kaliningrad exclave, even though NATO’s military strength in the region remains inferior to that of Russia. As a result, enablement constitutes a credible deterrence tool. About DEFENDER-Europe 20. Creating the necessary conditions and providing the required support for an exercise like Defender-Europe 20 is clearly a much broader challenge and task than just military logistics, and goes well beyond just the military domain. What is the capacity of the road and rail infrastructure? Furthermore, it calls for a coordinated whole-of-government approach, not only in a crisis but also in peacetime, to support training, exercises and for general preparedness and readiness to defend our combined territories. DEFENDER-Europe 20 was designed as a deployment exercise to build strategic readiness in support of the U.S. National Defense Strategy and NATO deterrence objectives. Enablement means Allies are able to maintain high levels of preparedness and to put in place the arrangements and infrastructure required to move units, as rapidly as possible, to wherever needed. of local infrastructure. Allies’ ability to move their forces rapidly will be decisive in determining NATO’s speed of response. This US-led multinational exercise is the biggest test of NATO Allies’ ability to support large-scale movement of forces across the Atlantic and mainland Europe in recent years. This best practice will also help Allies to prepare to receive and support NATO forces of larger scales. (photo by Henri Cambier) A key objective for the inaugural DEFENDER-Europe 2020 exercise (DEF-EUR 20) was the issue, use, and turn-in of Army prepositioned stock (APS) equipment as part of exercising dynamic force employment of a combat-credible force. The essence of flexibility is in the mind of the commander; the substance of flexibility is in logistics. Lukas Milevski. It is the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe in more than 25 years with 20,000 soldiers deployed directly from the U.S. to Europe.” The views expressed are their own. Prior to this, in Kaliningrad, Russia had previously only deployed three maneuver brigades with a number of artillery brigades in support, commanded by a corps headquarters. United States Army Europe and Africa official homepage. Likewise, deploying military forces relies heavily on civil resources, such as communications, energy, transport, food, water and medical resources. from Vilnius to the Pabrade training area in eastern Lithuania, a spur of the existing railway line from Vilnius to Latvia, with the intention of completing it in time for the exercises. The United States had even planned to practice “. This requires a whole-of-government approach, including through national plans, with cross-government cooperation of civil and military actors, in peacetime, in crisis, and in conflict.”. A whole suite of linked exercises have also been scrubbed along with Defender Europe-20, including Dynamic Front, Saber Strike, and Swift Response. Many of the planned activities and troop activities were halted, though some exercises were modified in size and scope. Exercises are among the most, important indicators of military seriousness, , as even minor details of military operations are vital to their success, including logistical details. We must provide effective command and control to coordinate military deployments, while ensuring close coordination and cooperation with civil authorities, including law enforcement and emergency responders. Almost 37,000 soldiers and officers from 18 countries were expected to take part, with about 20,000 of them from the United States alone. They also adopted a "Commitment to enhance resilience", agreeing to fulfil seven baseline requirements for national resilience, including: Assured continuity of government and critical government services, including the ability to make decisions, communicate and enforce them in a crisis; Resilient energy supply, including the diversification of import routes, suppliers and energy resources, and the interconnectivity of energy networks; Coping with the uncontrolled movement of large numbers of people; Although not all of these are being tested, Defender-Europe 20 is an excellent vehicle to develop the civil-military interface and to connect civil preparedness through resilience with the ability to provide effective and robust host nation support. Exercising the largest deployment in decades of US and Allied forces, Defender-Europe 20 is demonstrating the durability of the trans-Atlantic bond, but also incentivising NATO Allies to regenerate institutional knowledge, supported by robust logistic capacity. Lukas Milevski is a Baltic Sea Fellow in the Eurasia Program at FPRI. It is the first big test of Allies’ ability to support large-scale movement across the Atlantic and mainland Europe in recent years. Vehicles of the U.S. Army and the German Federal Armed Forces are parked on a loading area during the Defender-Europe 20 exercise Feb. 12, 2020, in Bergen, Germany. DEFENDER-Europe 20 was set to be the biggest deployment for an exercise in 25 years, with 20,000 soldiers deploying from the U.S. and training with 17,000 allies. that has continued to confront NATO since at least 2014. The US, with NATO, routinely conducts military exercises all over Europe, especially since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 — exercises, as destabilizing. Exercises also ensure that the Army has in place the appropriate personnel and institutional logistical knowledge to effect and sustain a substantial military deployment. NATO member countries pool resources to charter special aircraft to transport troops, equipment and supplies across the globe. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, US Army Europe took a prudent decision to modify Exercise Defender-Europe 20 in size and scope to protect forces and local populations. © NATO, Most satellites serve multiple civilian, commercial or security functions. This indicates that US Army thinking now encompasses the hypothetical prospect of fighting return into the Baltic countries. They may not easily relate to the importance of military and civilian preparedness and the part that all aspects of society played in our collective efforts to maintain peace and security. January 21, 2020 Army begins movement for Defender-Europe 20 exercise December 12, 2019 Army extends housing surveys till Dec. 20 December 5, … Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is a U.S.-led multinational exercise, including NATO's participation. Its purpose was both to practice and demonstrate the US Army’s ability rapidly to deploy an entire division — not just from the continental United States to Europe through Dutch ports, but also further across Europe to Poland and the Baltic countries. Exercise Defender Europe 20 is a US Army led joint, multinational training exercise that includes approximately 2500 UK service personnel who will deploy from the UK and participate in the series of linked activities that comprise Defender Europe 20. If it cannot cross easily, that affects the conduct of subsequent operations. It is scheduled to run from April to July with operations occurring throughout parts of … What is published in NATO Review does not necessarily represent the official position or policy of member governments, or of NATO. It has been suggested that logistics are the. 2020. © US Army photo by Jason Johnston, A diver repairs a submarine internet cable. Defender Europe-20, as the largest deployment exercise of US forces to Europe since Reforger, would have represented a major attempt to regain the institutional knowledge of how to conduct such deployments in Europe, as well as to test the local infrastructure. 21 European model shown. Another important objective of exercises like Defender-Europe 20 is to demonstrate that NATO can bring its extensive military capability to bear when and where required, while raising our citizens’ awareness of how important it is for their military forces to train at this scale to deter and defend against aggression. Diverse civilian and military actors have worked closely together to enable the unimpeded deployment of forces by air, sea, road and rail. It moved some 9,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment, many from prepositioned stock locations in Europe, and around 3,000 pieces of equipment across the Atlantic. The dilemma is: to act to reinforce or be able to reinforce the Baltic in case of war and thus provoke some unwanted Russian reaction that falls beyond the scope of what NATO expects in a deterrence relationship, or not to do so, and gamble, entirely on Russia’s forbearance in the Baltic Sea region, the credibility of NATO as a fully defensive military alliance. Strategists will … Defender Europe 20, which was to involve nearly 40,000 US and European troops in drills across Central and Eastern Europe in late spring, was cancelled in mid-March, about six … © Union of Concerned Scientists, German port facilities at Bremerhaven support the deployment of US forces during Exercise Defender-Europe 20. The announcement of the Defender-Europe 2020 gave the world, but especially Russia, a new and strange perspective on the future of international security. Defender 2020 drew parallels to the Cold War-era REFORGER exercise in Europe, which simulated a NATO deployment to West Germany in the event of a conflict with the Soviet Union. Gareth Thomas, Peter Williams and Yanitsa Dyakova work on Resilience, Enablement and Logistics in NATO’s Defence Policy and Planning Division. In this respect, we have to bear in mind that border-crossing arrangements need to support the rapid movement of forces of many different nations. The December 2018 resignation of Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis, often characterized as the only adult in the room, has also increased concern about potential future Trump defense policies. In many countries, younger generations are not familiar with events of this scale or the characteristics of ‘normal’ life in the shadow of the Cold War. DEFENDER-Europe 20 wird in Europa also deutlich sichtbar sein. “Defender 2020,” the largest NATO exercise in Europe for 25 years, has gotten under way in recent weeks. , particularly cyber activities directed at Russia — mostly by encouraging the Department of Defense to minimize disclosure of operational details. Activities of this type allow our service men and women to train with a realistic and challenging scenario, and to practice their procedures and manoeuvres, which are integral to their readiness and interoperability. They knew the exact locations of their deployment positions, which pre-positioned stocks and equipment were available, how their echeloned support systems would function, and what support their host nations would provide for them based on clear strategic, operational and tactical level arrangements. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. The largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe for an exercise in the more than 25 years exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. It is clear that there can be no civil – or military – preparedness without effective cooperation with the private sector and that it is imperative for NATO and Allies to ensure the necessary arrangements are in place. We must also ensure access to all necessary transport capabilities and infrastructure – including those in civilian and commercial hands – to enable unimpeded movement of forces by air, sea, road and rail.