UK To Send 20,000 Soldiers to Europe for NATO Drills

( – The Russian war on Ukraine has left some countries concerned that it could lead to attacks on NATO nations. Over the last two years, countries that are part of the international alliance have bolstered their defenses. They are now holding massive NATO drills.

On January 15, British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced the deployment of 20,000 troops across Europe. The deployments will happen in the first six months of the year, and the troops will participate in the largest NATO military exercise since the Cold War ended. In addition to the troops, tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, artillery, and a carrier strike group are being deployed. The service members will be from the British Army, Royal Air Force, and Royal Navy. They will represent about half of the total number of troops involved in the exercises.

Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, which was announced last September, will include over 40,000 troops from 31 NATO member states and Sweden. The latter asked to join NATO in 2022, and the countries voted to allow it to become part of the organization last year, but the final unanimous vote hasn’t made it official yet. Still, the country is treated as a member state.

In a speech, Shapps said Britain was in a “new era” and that they “must be prepared to deter [their] enemies” and defend the country when necessary. He went on to say the nation’s enemies are “busily rebuilding their barriers.” To make it clear he was speaking about Russia, Shapps said, “The tanks are literally on Ukraine’s lawn.”

The military exercises will take place in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Germany. They are meant as a deterrent against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military. Late February will mark the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine. The battle between the two countries is still going strong and doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.

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