UK Pledges 20K Troops For NATO Exercise In Europe, Including Significant Deployment In Eastern Europe

The UK has pledged to deploy 20,000 military personnel for a NATO exercise all across Europe that is planned to take place in the first half of the year.

What Happened: As per an announcement by the British Defence Ministry on Monday, the UK will be committing a force of 20,000 soldiers for a significant NATO exercise in Europe. The deployment will encompass 16,000 British army troops to be stationed in Eastern Europe from February to June, along with an array of warships, an aircraft carrier strike group, F35B Lightning attack jets, and surveillance planes, according to Reuters.

The exercise, dubbed “Steadfast Defender 24”, is a commemorative event for the 75th year of the Western alliance. UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated that this would be “one of NATO’s largest deployments since the end of the Cold War.”

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The decision follows NATO’s move to bolster its count of combat-ready troops in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s invasion order of Ukraine close to two years back. “It will see our military joining forces with counterparts from 30 NATO countries plus Sweden, providing vital reassurance against the Putin menace,” Shapps mentioned.

Why It Matters: Last week, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak disclosed that the UK will bolster its support for Ukraine to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.19 billion) in the ensuing financial year, which signifies an increase of 200 million pounds from the previous two years.

This declaration follows the UK’s position on Ukraine’s appeal for arms assistance in the previous year. In July, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace emphasized that Western allies were “not Amazon” and called on Kyiv to express appreciation for the provided weaponry to garner additional support from Western politicians against Russia. The extensive military drill reaffirms the UK’s ongoing dedication to countering Russian aggression in the region.

Image Via Shutterstock

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