Georgia to be involved in US-led Defend Europe 20 exercise, largest in Europe in 25 years

The exercise Defender Europe 20 will take place in the spring of 2020. Photo: SITA/AP., 08 Oct 2019 - 12:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia will be involved in the US-led exercise Defender Europe 2020 in April and May of the next year, the largest exercise of its kind in Europe in 25 years with the participation of about 20,000 soldiers and 18 participating states, the New York Times reports.

The New York Times cited the US European Command as saying on Monday that the Defender Europe 20 exercise will support NATO objectives "to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries."

Eighteen countries are expected to take part in exercises across 10 countries, including Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Georgia,” the New York Times reports. 

The media outlet wrote that the exercise will also involve 9,000 more Americans already stationed in Europe and 8,000 European troops.

The exercise 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 US Army Europe commander.

The division-scaled exercise will test the Army’s ability to deliver a force from fort in the United States to port in the United States, and then to ports in Europe, and from there to operational areas throughout Europe from Germany to Poland to the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations, Nordic countries and even Georgia“, Cavoli told Defense News in an exclusive interview.

Georgia has been one of the key contributors in NATO-led peace missions and is a strategic partner of the United States.