Defender-Europe First in Series of Power Projection Exercises

Defender-Europe First in Series of Power Projection Exercises

Photo by: U.S. Army

A multinational exercise in Europe set to be the Army’s largest deployment of U.S.-based troops in 25 years will begin in February in the first of a series of such exercises planned to demonstrate the Army’s ability to deploy and project power globally.

Defender-Europe 2020 will include the participation of some 37,000 U.S., partner and allied troops, including 9,000 Europe-based U.S. troops. The bulk of the activities will take place across 10 countries in April and May, linking five named exercises. The exercise is set to conclude in August.

Planning for a similar exercise in the Pacific is “in the early stages,” said Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, who estimated that details of Defender-Pacific would begin to emerge “in early 2020.”

Chief among the key events in the massive European exercise will be the process of reception, staging, onward movement and integration to demonstrate the Army’s ability to deploy and move and U.S. Army Europe’s ability to receive forces and move them across Europe.

In addition to the troops being deployed, some 20,000 pieces of equipment will be shipped from five U.S. seaports, and 13,000 pieces of equipment will be brought in from Army pre-positioned stock.

Participating stateside units are:

  • 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters and 44th Medical Brigade from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
  • 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters; 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command; 1st Cavalry Division Artillery Command; and 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas.
  • 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Stewart, Georgia.
  • 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas.
  • 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) from Salt Lake City.
  • 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team from Boise, Idaho.
  • 168th Engineer Brigade Headquarters from Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade and the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters had been scheduled for deployments to Europe in support of NATO allies and partners and will also support Defender-Europe 2020, Ochoa said.

For more information on Defender-Europe, click here.