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NATO’s Steadfast Defender Exercise Rolls on... Towards Russia

March 6, 2024 (EIRNS)—NATO’s Steadfast Defender exercise, planned to ultimately mobilize 90,000 troops over the course of a four-month period ending in May, is well underway. It includes many moving components all ultimately aimed at locations close to Russian borders.

In Poland, the Polish-led Dragon-24, a ground operations exercise involving troops from eight other countries plus Poland is underway, running until March 15. It included a crossing of the Vistula River on March 4-5 in winter conditions, reported Defense News. It also included the movement of a large number of personnel and combat vehicles across Polish territory. A tactical road march is set to begin later this week from Korzeniewo, where both wheeled and tracked military vehicles will cover approximately 300 km over the span of multiple days toward the Bemowo Piskie training area.

As reported earlier, Nordic Response, with the focus on Norway’s northern Finnmark County bordering Russia’s Murmansk region, kicked off March 4. U.S. participation includes a pair of B-1B bombers temporarily based out of Luleå-Kallaxair air station in northern Sweden. This is to be followed by more northern exercises in the spring, including: Northern Viking, an exercise in April in and around Iceland, emphasizing securing sea and air routes to Northern Europe; Dynamic Mongoose an anti-submarine warfare exercise in April and May in the High North; and Northern Forest, a Finnish-led army exercise in May in Rovajärvi, northern Finland.