On Friday (06.23.2023), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) completed the most important air maneuver in its history. In Central and Eastern Europe, a demonstration of unity by its members in the face of potential threats from Russia.
“We wanted to show that these 25 different countries could work together from day one, and we did,” said German Air Force Commander Ingo Gerhartz. About 250 military aircraft from 25 member and partner countries NATOincluding Japan and Sweden, which are candidates to join the alliance, participated in exercises called “Air Defender 23” coordinated by Germany.
Up to 10,000 people took part in these exercises aimed at enhancing interoperability and protection from drones and cruise missiles in the event of an attack on cities, airports or ports located on NATO territory.
“These exercises were completely successful, not only at the tactical level, but also at the organizational level,” said Gerhartz from the Jagel air base in the German region of Schleswig-Holstein. But these moves were also meant to send a message, especially to Russia, as the US ambassador to Germany, Amy Guttmann, explained.
“I would be very surprised if a world leader did not notice what this shows in terms of the spirit of this alliance, and what it means for the strength of this alliance, and that includes Mr. [Vladimir] Putin, ”the Russian president confirmed.
million (afp, dpa)
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