Exercise Defender Europe 20 is a US Army led joint, multinational training exercise that includes approximately 2600 UK service personnel, who will deploy from the UK and participate in the series of linked activities that comprise Defender Europe 20. Activities are planned to occur from February through to July 2020.


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Defender Europe 20 involves the participation of allies and partners from 18 countries, and support objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries. The exercise is defensive in nature and designed to build readiness.

This deployment forms part enablement of the largest deployment of US-based Army forces to Europe for an exercise in the last 25 years. The ability to rapidly surge combat ready forces into and across Europe is critical to projecting forces at a moment’s notice to support the alliance and respond to crisis. The UK stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with its NATO allies and partners and its commitment to European security is unconditional. The transatlantic bond has made NATO the strongest alliance in world history. 

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Defender Europe 20 will demonstrate that US commitment to NATO and the defence of Europe remains ironclad. This long-planned exercise cluster will give rise to the largest deployment of US based forces to Europe in the last 25 years.

The participation of 2600 UK service personnel in Exercise Defender Europe 20, the biggest of its kind since the Cold War, clearly demonstrates the UK’s commitment to NATO and shows that whilst the UK is leaving the EU, it is not leaving Europe and remains utterly committed to its security. We will continue to play a leading role in NATO and stand firm beside our allies.

Exercise Defender Europe 20 - 19 Tank Transporter Sqn