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U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Van Wagenen: Exclusive purpose of Defender-Europe 21 exercise is intra-NATO defense

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The purpose of the Defender-Europe 21 exercise that is currently unfolding in Romania too, is mutual intra-NATO defense, Brigadier General Matthew J. Van Wagenen, deputy commander of the U.S. V Corps, told a press conference delivered jointly with the Commander of the Multinational Corps Southeast (MNC-SE), Major General Tomita-Catalin Tomescu, and the Commander of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, Lieutenant General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne.

According to the U.S. military official, this exercise was announced in advance, everyone knows about the activities organized, there have been briefings about this.

We are talking about strategic deterrence. We are talking about defense, the defense of Europe, the defense of the Black Sea region. The purpose of the exercise is intra-NATO defense, said Brig. Gen. Van Wagenen.

Major General Tomita-Catalin Tomescu also underscored the defensive and deterrence nature of Defender-Europe, stating that it is intended for the defense of the region and of Romania. "This is what we train for. The exercise has no offensive implications. All the exercises are carried out for the defense of our territory. As I often said - an army is not necessarily built to win a war, but rather to prevent it. This is the purpose of our exercises," he said.

Pointing out the extremely complex context of the Black Sea region, the MNC-SE Commander said that this is why this exercise was also approached from the viewpoint of the Command of the U.S. Forces in Europe, with an approach to the southern area.

Lieutenant General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne brought to mind the situation in the Black Sea region and the commitment of the allied countries, stating that there is undoubtedly a conflict in the region, and that this has been happening since 2014. We have a lasting commitment within the alliance towards all our allies and we will fulfill this commitment in order to support them, to discourage our opponents and if needed, to fight and defend ourselves alongside our allies, he said.

The computer assisted/command post exercise operations are taking place in Romania as part of the joint multinational Defender-Europe 21 exercise, with the U.S. Army Europe and Africa designing and coordinating the activities.

The exercise sees the participation of the U.S. V Corps of the Multinational Corps Southeast HQ, with the support of HQ ARRC. The terrain walk activity was intended for the commanders of the structures involved to recognize those on-site specifics of the exercise, both in Romania and in Bulgaria, which have a decisive influence on military actions, for ensuring the achievement of the operation objectives and the life-like unfolding of the drills.

More than 100 HQ ARRC personnel are to take up positions and train jointly with MNC-SE HQ personnel in military planning and operation command, in order to achieve the Initial Operational Capability provided for by the memorandum concluded between the two commands of the NATO Force Structure.

Defender-Europe 21 is a large-scale U.S. Army-led exercise, consisting of more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations, and designed to build readiness and interoperability between the United States, NATO allies, and partner militaries over a wide area of operations, reports agerpres


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