In Poland, a major US-Polish exercise kicked off this week. After careful assessment and planning between US Army Europe and the Polish Ministry of Defense, exercise ‘Allied Spirit’, a ‘US-Defender-Europe 20’ linked exercise, originally scheduled to be conducted in May, started this Friday at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in north-western Poland. It will last till 19 June. Modified from its original design to ensure the safety of soldiers due to COVID-19, the US and Polish bilateral exercise will feature a Polish airborne operation and a US-Polish division-size river crossing. Approximately 6.000 US and Polish soldiers will take part in the exercise. "The Polish Armed Forces have not for a moment lost their combat readiness, and the presence of the United States in Poland throughout the time is proof of huge trust from our American partner," Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said on Thursday morning at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area while inaugurating the two-week exercise. “Throughout the epidemic, the Polish Armed Forces have been ready to protect the security of Poland, the NATO countries and its eastern flank”, Blaszczak continued.
In the German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania, units from the Norwegian Telemark Battalion, supported by German and US attachments, carried out ‘Operation Einherjar’ this week. This is a complex combined arms live fire training serial, executed on the Pabrade Training Area in the east of the country, involving – among other assets – main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. This Norwegian-led exercise demonstrates the determination of the NATO partners, serving together in the eFP Battlegroups, to continue with their task of training on a high professional level even in the midst of the Corona pandemic. Thereby, they prove to be well prepared and capable to execute their core mission, which is to provide solidarity and security for the NATO partners in that region of the Alliance and deter any potential aggressor.