NATO launches largest training exercise in decade, extending until end of spring

Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images) © RBC-Ukraine (CA)

The largest NATO exercise in the last decade, Steadfast Defender 24, started today, January 24. They will last until the end of spring, reports the North Atlantic Alliance.

It is reported that the start of the training was marked by the departure of the USS Gunston Hall dock landing ship from Norfolk, Virginia, USA, initiating a series of operations for transit across the Atlantic.

NATO launches largest training exercise in decade, extending until end of spring

NATO launches largest training exercise in decade, extending until end of spring© RBC-Ukraine (CA)

Photo: Start of the training (

The departure of the U.S. military ship Gunston Hall signifies the first tactical move of Steadfast Defender 24. The Canadian ship Charlottetown will depart from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Europe later this month.

NATO specifies that the planned exercise will demonstrate the Alliance’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts to strengthen the defense of Europe.

What else is known about the training

Supreme Allied Commander of NATO’s European forces, General Christopher Cavoli, states that the Alliance will showcase its capability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic region through transatlantic force movement from North America.

“Steadfast Defender 2024 will be a clear demonstration of our unity, strength, and determination to protect each other, our values and the rules-based international order,” says the general.

Steadfast Defender 24 exercise will take place in multiple locations, and the corresponding training will last until May 31, 2024. These will be the first large-scale NATO exercise implementing new defense plans.

They will demonstrate that NATO can conduct and sustain complex, multi-faceted operations over several months at a distance of thousands of kilometers from the far North to Central and Eastern Europe and under any conditions.

Earlier reports on this exercise

Britain sent 20,000 military personnel to serve across Europe as part of NATO’s extensive exercise in the first half of this year. NATO’s Steadfast Defender 24 exercise is conducted to practice defending its eastern flank.

The UK Minister of Defense, Grant Shapps, stated that the military would collaborate with colleagues from 30 NATO countries and Sweden, providing a vital guarantee against the threat posed by Putin.

Source: RBC Ukraine