Press Release - U.S. and U.K. vessels to deliver 300-plus pieces of military equipment to Croatia’s Gazenica port for the multinational military drill, DEFENDER-Europe 21

May 4, 2021

WIESBADEN, Germany —

U.S. Naval Ship Yuma and U.K. Vessel Hurst Point will off-load more than 300 pieces of military equipment at Zadar, Croatia’s Gazenica port after ferrying it from Durres, Albania, as part of DEFENDER-Europe 21, May 4-7, 2021. 

DEFENDER-Europe 21 is U.S.-led, large-scale, multinational exercise that tests NATO Allies and partners' ability to seamlessly coordinate movement of personnel, equipment, and supplies across the European theater to the point of need in coordination with multinational military and civilian partners.

The logistical journey started on March 24 at the Port of Jacksonville, Florida where U.S. National Guard units from Florida spent three days loading combat equipment onto USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300). The ship then headed to Portsmouth, Virginia to load the final pieces of equipment before traveling 4,895 nautical miles to to an off-shore platform near the port of Durres where it discharged the heavy equipment onto smaller vessels. This process is called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, a method used to ensure swift delivery of supplies and equipment in a variety of port situations. The smaller vessels then transferred the cargo to shore in Albania, where it was loaded on the Yuma and Hurst Point for onward movement to Croatia. 

Once off-loaded in Zadar, the equipment will move to the Main Training Area in Slunj, Croatia and training areas throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina to be used in drills and maneuvers alongside members of the Croatian Armed Forces, under the umbrella of the linked exercise named "Immediate Response 21.”  The exercise culminates in a joint, multinational live-fire demonstration called “Croatian Rampart 1991-2021” - which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Croatian Armed Forces at the end of May. 

Media Access:

Media are invited to RSVP for access to the port to capture photos, video, and conduct interviews with U.S., U.K. and Croatian military personnel on May 6, 2021.  Please be advised: timelines for sealift and port operations are fluid - weather and many other eventualities can affect our ability to provide precise dates and times of ship arrival. We will strive to provide 24-hour’s notice of projected ship arrival for media wishing to cover the operation. Interested media should contact should Anja Picelj-Kosak at U.S. Embassy's Public Affairs Office by e-mail @ by 1400 hours on May 5 or the Croatian Ministry of Defense at Please send full name(s), media outlet name, position and contact information (e-mail address & cell phone number).  You will then receive further arrival instructions.

Due to COVID-19 mitigation measures, media will not be able to board the ships.  Photos, videos, news stories, and b-roll packages of port operations will be posted to All products are public domain and can be used by any media outlet. Media representatives can create a free account to download high resolution versions of the products.  

To be added to our DEFENDER-Europe 21 distribution list, email To receive updates via RSS feed subscribe at or visit the DEFENDER-Europe 21 website for all the latest news and information.

  • U.S. Army Europe and Africa