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. © Spri.eus. The countries elected to be the theater of the activities are those closest to the Russian border, causing great reactions in Russian media and their military forces. Likewise, deploying military forces relies heavily on civil resources, such as communications, energy, transport, food, water and medical resources. 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. 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. 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. Lessons learned will further strengthen Allied readiness and resilience in a challenging security environment. The requirement for a balance between organic military capabilities and contracted support has been prominent in recent large-scale, high-visibility Allied and NATO exercises, and will be an important area of practice going forward. 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. 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. A whole suite of linked exercises have also been scrubbed along with Defender Europe-20, including Dynamic Front, Saber Strike, and Swift Response. It is the first big test of Allies’ ability to support large-scale movement across the Atlantic and mainland Europe in recent years. Nowadays, all Allies recognise the interdependence of the military and private sector. This excitement marks the beginning of “Defender Europe 2020”, the largest military exercises to be staged in Europe in over 25 years. 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. Some 30 years after the last REFORGER, the new security environment is more unpredictable, and so our planning has had to become more flexible and immediately responsive. 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. How long would it take for a European country to fold once power, water, telecoms, fuel, banking and supermarket distribution systems were comprehensively disrupted? It remains unclear at the moment whether the scale-back of the exercises and COVID-19 may affect this deployment. 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. of local infrastructure. 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. For example, Allies are busy testing and improving tunnel access and bridge strengths for road convoys and rail movement. In fact, COVID-19 demonstrated the vital role that our armed forces can play in support of civilian efforts in a health crisis, not just in a military one – from airlifting medical supplies and patients to setting up field hospitals and providing disinfection and decontamination teams. Despite the need to adjust the scale of exercise activities, the time spent in planning and implementing it was invaluable. How much weight can vital bridges carry, are they strong enough to support a heavily armored brigade crossing from the opposite side of the river? (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. 2020. © US Army photo by Jason Johnston, A diver repairs a submarine internet cable. 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. Exercises also ensure that the Army has in place the appropriate personnel and institutional logistical knowledge to effect and sustain a substantial military deployment. The views expressed are their own. ” air assault exercises with the 82nd Airborne division as part of Defender Europe-20. NATO nations have undertaken a wide range of measures to accelerate the movement of their forces and equipment. © NATO, Most satellites serve multiple civilian, commercial or security functions. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. Between January and March 2020, US Army Europe deployed approximately 6,000 military personnel from the United States to Europe. Demonstrating the ability to move Allied forces into and across Europe at speed, and sustain them, was an important part of the exercise. © Union of Concerned Scientists, German port facilities at Bremerhaven support the deployment of US forces during Exercise Defender-Europe 20. 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. 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. 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. 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. Gareth Thomas, Peter Williams and Yanitsa Dyakova work on Resilience, Enablement and Logistics in NATO’s Defence Policy and Planning Division. 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. 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. To give an idea, this is the third-largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War. Much was and is being learned, and there is always room to improve. Germany was to be the 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.”. 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. 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. 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. Defender-Europe 20 is the largest military deployment to Europe in 25 years, military officials say. 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. 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. Exercises help develop this understanding. The United States had even planned to practice “. The addition of an entire division to the forces already there would significantly increase Russian military capabilities in the exclave and would give Russian forces in the exclave the possibility of conducting independent military operations without requiring further reinforcements from Russia. 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. What is the capacity of the road and rail infrastructure? To prove that NATO’s strategy and concepts worked, and to maintain visibility, Allied forces regularly exercised reinforcement. WASHINGTON — The Defender 2020 in Europe is set to be the third-largest military exercise on the continent since the Cold War, according to Lt. Gen. Chris Cavoli, the U.S. Army Europe … This indicates that US Army thinking now encompasses the hypothetical prospect of fighting return into the Baltic countries. 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. 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. This logistical aspect of Defender Europe-20 would have been vital. ‘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. Military operations rely not just on local infrastructure, but also on an. www.fpri.org Copyright © 2000–2020. 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. Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. The announcement of the Defender-Europe 2020 gave the world, but especially Russia, a new and strange perspective on the future of international security. The U.S. European Command's participation in Defender-Europe 20 will be curtailed, the command announced Monday, altering plans for 20,000 U.S. …