U.S. troops will join Polish soldiers in a military drill in June, making it the first time members of the American armed forces will gather for a large-scale exercise in Europe since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a military press release.
Allied Spirit, the multinational exercise works to test and strengthen "tactical interoperability" and "secure communications" among NATO alliance members.
This drill is a modified low-scale version of the much larger Defender Europe-20, a series of exercises designed to be one of the biggest ARMY training events in Europe since the Cold War.
"All COVID-19 precautionary measures will be taken to ensure the health and protection of participating armed forces and the local population," a press release in U.S. Army Europe reads.
Roughly 4,000 U.S. troops from the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters (Forward), the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team and the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division will take part in the drill. They will gather alongside about Polish 2,000 from airborne, cavalry, and mechanized units.
The Pentagon suspended deployments for Defender-Europe 20 in March due to coronavirus concerns. But by that time, the Army had already deployed 6,000 troops which included an armored brigade combat team and division headquarters. It had also packed ships and aircraft with over 90% of the equipment needed for the exercise.
Large portions of the original exercise were eliminated for the Allied Spirit, such as the paratrooper into the Republic of Georgia and the Baltics.
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