News Release - Swift Response 23, first of three, major DEFENDER 23-linked exercises, to begin

May 2, 2023

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WIESBADEN, Germany —

Swift Response 23, the first of three major exercises that make up the Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness 2023 or DEFENDER 23, begins May 7, across the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean regions.

“During DEFENDER 23, the U.S., Allies and partners will demonstrate combined and joint interoperability, and the ability to conduct large-scale operations at the battalion and brigade levels,” said U.S. Army Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, and NATO's Allied Land Command. “Such actions provide a key deterrent effect in today’s dynamic security environment and ensure we are ready to fight and win if deterrence should ever fail."

The purpose of Swift Response is to ensure combat credible forces are ready and postured in theater to respond to any threats against our NATO Allies and partners. Swift Response 23 features the Spanish airborne brigade, Brigada Paracaidista, leading three near-simultaneous airborne operations in Estonia, Greece and Spain. After the successful seizure of objectives, host nation-partnered live fire training will take place.

Swift Response 23 has linkages to U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s exercise Astral Knight and U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s exercise Formidable Shield, which enhances joint interoperability and is set in a multi-domain operational environment.

Countries expected to participate in Swift Response include the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Swift Response 23 runs through May 20.

Several media opportunities will occur during Swift Response 23 activities. Journalists interested in the opportunities or in learning more about the exercise should email Follow the latest news and information on DEFENDER 23 at