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What is DEFENDER-Europe 21?

DEFENDER-Europe is an annual large-scale U.S. Army-led, multinational, joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between U.S., NATO and partner militaries. This year’s exercise:

  • Focuses on building operational readiness and interoperability with a greater number of NATO allies and partners over a wider area of operations
  • Is defensive in nature and focused on responding to crisis if necessary
  • Demonstrates that the U.S. commitment to NATO is iron clad
  • Integrates approximately 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations to conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in 12 countries.
  • Includes strict COVID prevention and mitigation measures, such as pre-deployment COVID testing and quarantining.
  • Has significant involvement of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
  • Utilizes key ground and maritime routes bridging Europe, Asia and Africa
  • Exercises new high-end capabilities such the new U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Brigades, air and missile defense assets and the recently reactivated V Corps
  • Demonstrates our ability to serve as a strategic security partner in the western Balkans and Black Sea regions while sustaining our abilities in northern Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine and Africa.

Click here for the full DEFENDER-Europe 21 Fact Sheet

Click here for the DEFENDER-Europe 21 Infographic

Press Information

Here is a full list of all DEFENDER-Europe 21 public announcements, media advisories and press releases:

Media Advisory - Upcoming DEFENDER-Europe 21 events in Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Romania
By | May 5, 2021
U.S. Army Europe and Africa invites members of the press to participate in upcoming scheduled media events for DEFENDER-Europe 21. All events are subject to change and limitations based on the evolving COVID-19 situation.
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
By | May 4, 2021
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.
Press Release - Defender Europe 21 Opening Ceremony
By | May 4, 2021
Join us live, May 4, 2021 at 0930 CEST for the opening ceremony of Defender Europe 21 in Albania where Gen. Tod Wolters will give remarks.
Upcoming Telephonic Press Briefing with Brigadier General Christopher R. Norrie and Colonel Daniel George Miller, U.S. Army, and Major General Indrek Sirel, Estonian Defense Force
By | May 4, 2021
MEDIA ADVISORY | Please join us on Wednesday, May 5, for a telephonic press briefing with Brigadier
Media Advisory – DEFENDER-Europe 21 media opportunities in Albania, Estonia, virtually
By | April 28, 2021
WIESBADEN, Germany – U.S. Army Europe and Africa invites members of the press to participate in upcoming scheduled media events for DEFENDER-Europe 21. All events are subject to change and limitations based on the evolving COVID-19 situation.  
Media Advisory - DEFENDER-Europe 21 Activities Open to Media
By | April 23, 2021
WIESBADEN, Germany – U.S. Army Europe and Africa invites members of the press to participate in upcoming scheduled media events.
Press Release - DEFENDER-Europe 21 activities begin this month, include two dozen nations
By | March 15, 2021
WIESBADEN, Germany – DEFENDER-Europe 21 activities begin this month across Europe and continue through June.
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DEFENDER-Europe 21 JFE interviews with President of Estonia and Estonian Chief of Defense
U.S. Army Europe and Africa
May 8, 2021 | 3:51
NURMSI, Estonia - President of Estonia Kirste Kaljulaid and Estonian Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Martin Herem comment on DEFENDER-Europe 21 and Estonian participation in the exercise in Nurmsi, Estonia, May 8, 2021. DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a large-scale U.S. Army-led exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and partner militaries. This year, more than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations will conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in more than a dozen countries from the Baltics to the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea Region. Follow the latest news and information about DEFENDER-Europe 21, visit www.EuropeAfrica.army.mil/DefenderEurope.
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enlightenedTo find out more information about filing a claim related to DEFENDER-Europe 21 activities, visit Claims Information and select your country.