The US military has started a series of joint military drills in Europe that are scheduled to last through September, the European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement on Tuesday, ONA reports citing Sputnik.
This “series brings together NATO allies and partners to enhance interoperability across borders and to deter adversaries,” the statement said.
Maj. Gen. John Healy, who heads EUCOM’s Exercises and Assessments Directorate, said the exercises are conducted in concert with allies and partners “to secure US national interests, deter Russian aggression and support a Europe that is stable and secure.”
The first phase of the six planned exercises — dubbed Immediate Response — began on May 10 in Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia.
“It is designed to demonstrate freedom of movement and operational command and control, interoperability, and leverage strategic mobility to respond to an emerging contingency," the statement said.
In June, the Astral Knight exercise will focus on defending key terrain in Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
Another exercise named Saber Guardian will take place in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria and will focus on defensive operations and interoperability.
EUCOM explained that on July 1-12 the Sea Breeze exercise is planned to take place in Ukraine and the western Black Sea region focusing on maritime security in support of the NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.
Georgia will host the Agile Spirit exercise July 29-August 19, focusing on peacekeeping and NATO response force operations, while the Northern Challenge is planned to start in Iceland on September 16, according to EUCOM.