Twenty ships, a submarine and 60 aircraft will exercise off the coast of Portugal. It includes the United Kingdom's aircraft carrier HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and her Lockheed Martin F-35B fifth generation combat aircraft.
"This maritime focussed portion of the exercise highlights our capabilities at sea and our determination to act; as an attack on one of us will always be considered directed against all of us," stated General Vollmer who spent the day on-board HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Steadfast Defender 2021 is designed to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to threats from any direction.
The second part of the exercise is reinforcement by land. Led by NATO's Joint Support and Enabling Command based in Ulm, Germany. It is a command post exercise focused on enabling a safe and secure transit of military forces through Allied nations.
The final part of the exercise is a regular deployment called Noble Jump. It tests NATO's rapid reaction forces and involves the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The VJTF is the spearhead military unit within NATO, and the first to respond to a crisis.
General Vollmer congratulates all personnel involved with Steadfast Defender 2021 on its success thus far: "Steadfast Defender demonstrates the transatlantic solidarity and NATO's readiness to stand up against multiple threats in a challenging security environment."