U.S. Forces Redeploy as DEFENDER-Europe 21 Concludes; the Exercise Started in Albania

The Defender-Europe 21 exercise opened in Albania with the execution of Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) operations at the Port of Durres, has recently reported a press statement released by the portal europeafrica.army.mil.

"U.S. forces are in the process of redeploying to the United States as DEFENDER-Europe 21 activities across Europe come to a close," said the statement.

According to it, during the operation, the USNS Bob Hope, the largest U.S. strategic lift vessel offloaded over 1,000 pieces of heavy equipment onto smaller vessels that transferred the cargo to shore for onward movement. "This was the first time JLOTS has been executed in Europe since WWII. As DEFENDER-Europe 21 activities across Europe come to a close, learn more about how the U.S., NATO allies, and partners worked together throughout this annual large-scale, multinational, joint exercise."

Further on the statement said the following:

DEFENDER-Europe is an annual large-scale U.S. Army Europe and Africa-led, multinational, joint exercise designed to build strategic and operational readiness and interoperability between U.S., NATO allies and partners.

U.S., NATO allies and partners worked together throughout DEFENDER-Europe 21 to build readiness, enhance interoperability, and strengthen relationships. More than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations conducted nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in a dozen countries.

“Interoperability is key to alliance readiness. DEFENDER-Europe 21 is evidence of the ironclad U.S. commitment to NATO, is a prime example of our collective capabilities, and demonstrates that NATO allies and partners are stronger together,” said Gen. Christopher Cavoli, U.S. Army Europe and Africa commanding general.

May be an image of 3 people, people standing, military uniform and outdoors

DEFENDER-Europe 21 concluded with the redeployment of U.S.-based forces and equipment. Strategic readiness includes the ability of the U.S. military to dynamically project force and set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete. U.S. service members will now clear the training areas, return prepositioned stocks, move to ports and return to home stations.

The large-scale movement of troops and equipment for these exercises involve extensive support from each of the twelve host nations. “We owe a great thanks to the host nations, their citizens and governments, and the participating units for their hard work and steadfast support throughout the exercise," said Cavoli. “This was an extremely complex exercise with activity going on across the theater at many different locations almost simultaneously.  The coordination and cooperation required for DEFENDER demonstrate our allies ally and partner commitment to European military readiness and interoperability.  And, to the various units throughout DoD that made DEFENDER successful, thank you for your participation and dedication to mission success.”

Throughout the exercise, U.S. forces demonstrated their ability to successfully train in a COVID environment. Critical to this success was the detailed planning, and the strict COVID prevention and mitigation strategy implemented by U.S. and participating nations. As the U.S. military members redeploy, they will continue to follow host nation requirements, as they did when entering Europe and during training. / argumentum.al