British troops and armoured vehicles have begun training in Poland as part of NATO’s largest exercise in a generation.

Exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 involves a series of exercises across Europe, designed to strengthen NATO’s commitment to collective defence.

Challenger 2 tanks from the Royal Tank Regiment and Warrior infantry fighting vehicles from the Mercian Regiment are part of the 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team. This unit is one of three Battle Groups participating in the exercise. The training is taking place on the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area near Szczecin.

The main objective of the exercise is to improve interoperability with NATO allies. Lieutenant Colonel Grant Brown, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, discussed the importance of this collaboration in a press release.

“One of the main objectives is interoperability with our NATO allies and we will be working closely with American and Polish troops as the exercise continues,” he said in a press release. “We really don’t get much opportunity to exercise with other nations on this scale very often, so to do this delivers an awful lot of combat power. The benefits are learning how other nations operate, what their capabilities are.”

The exercise, which includes approximately 2,500 troops and 800 vehicles from the 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team, is the largest of its kind in four decades.

Lieutenant Colonel Brown highlighted the significance of this capability. “The main takeaway for me is that we have proved to ourselves, our allies and our adversaries that we can put a significant amount of firepower into the field at short notice,” he added.

Exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 will see NATO troops participate in 11 exercises over six months, ranging from the Mediterranean to the Arctic. In Poland, British forces are led by the 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team, with support from the Mercian and Royal Welsh Regiments. One of the initial scenarios tested the recovery of a Warrior infantry fighting vehicle under enemy fire. An FV512 mechanised combat repair vehicle from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was deployed to recover the vehicle under the protection of the Company.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_818805)
4 days ago

Given the numbers. I am surprised they noticed!!

Sam
Sam (@guest_818810)
4 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

All the vehicles being used here are due to be retired or upgraded.

So the exercise will be redundant pretty soon.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_818830)
4 days ago
Reply to  Sam

So? You still have to practice all arms war fighting whatever your kit!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_818832)
4 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Sam, I am not sure ‘redundant’ is the right word. This exercise was to practice deployment from the home base and then to exercise with allies – these skills are relevant for the soldiers who will in time operate and maintain future replacement vehicles.

Sam
Sam (@guest_818833)
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, that’s a fair point I suppose.

Dern
Dern (@guest_819260)
3 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Also just going to point out that just because Challenger II is going to be replaced by Challenger III and Warrior is going to be replaced by Boxer, that doesn’t mean we’re going to abandon our current tactics.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_818851)
4 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Nonsense. An exercise is more than the vehicles they are using. Training is never redundant.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_818870)
4 days ago
Reply to  Sam

I would put the capabilities of the CH2 and Warrior above the T55/T62/T72/T80s and BMP1/2 currently being fielded by Russia in the Ukraine.

Philip Edgington
Philip Edgington (@guest_819134)
3 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Incorrect the tank Challenger 2 are all being upgraded too challenger 3 such as main main weapon currently barreled gun too smooth bore an NATO 120mm used by all nato tanks

Paul
Paul (@guest_819517)
2 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Always the negative vibes.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_818841)
4 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

This is a NATO series of 11 exercises over five-six months, Jan – May 2024, ranging from the Mediterranean to the Arctic, the exercise being in two parts: Part 1 focused on transatlantic reinforcement – the strategic deployment of US and Canadian forces across the Atlantic to continental Europe. This phase included maritime live exercises and amphibious assault training in the North Atlantic and Arctic seas. Part 2 (currently ongoing) focuses on multi-domain exercises across Europe – demonstrating NATO, national and multinational military capabilities. This phase also tests the rapid deployment of troops and equipment across borders within the Alliance.… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_818951)
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

My comment related to the pitful state of our army.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_819142)
3 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

The Russians will be loooking at the bigger picture, ie. what threat does the whole of NATO as evidenced in these exercises pose to them.

However, I get where you are coming from. In this day and age it seems to be something to shout about that we can deploy most (but not all) of an armoured brigade to eastern Europe – I agree that is a bit underwhelming.

Mr m Swift
Mr m Swift (@guest_819412)
2 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Been talking today with a friend who works on the inside of the mod.this exercise almost didn’t happen troops and equipment were stolen from unused equipment.forget the politics.it seemed the yanks gave the UK an ultimatum.get your finger out or don’t come and don’t expect NATO to watch your back.scrappy schapp has been followed around with soldiers carrying toilet rolls.hes been s@-++&;! Himself. Also did you know our wonderfull aircraft carriers are fully manned with 60,% American fly boys teckies from us navy the rest Brits and germans WTF is going on we Brits are being kept in the dark.even… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_819984)
7 hours ago
Reply to  Mr m Swift

All of which I find very dubious. The yanks don’t run NATO. Any policy change/ ultimatum would come from the council, not a single nation, regardless of who that nation is.

Dern
Dern (@guest_820066)
8 seconds ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Yeah I had similar thoughts, but didn’t really think it worth replying. This just reads like someone who has a chip on their shoulder hearing something and twisting it in their minds into a narrative. Exercises on this scale don’t just “Nearly not happen” and certainly they don’t run on a “show up with X or don’t bother” type ultimatum.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_818840)
4 days ago

Head of GCHQ has gone on the record to state Russia is planning physical attacks Vs NATO members. That I thought was interesting as he wouldn’t have said that without evidence. So there is a clear actual threat and our government are doing what to get us war ready?
It’s increasingly clear a war Vs Russia is now just a matter of when not if.
About time we had an emergency preparation bill passed and orders for equipment put in now. Not sure what HMG are waiting for?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_818844)
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Just wait for while the whole world is watching the Olympics, as Russia and its friends might try something.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_818853)
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

CNI I assume. So undersea cables, the internet, and so on.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_818884)
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

HMG (whatever the political stripes) is known for prevaricating on the eve of a crisis – last time it was a belated response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It took us 5 years of rearmament work etc to get ready for WW2.

Kris Citowicz
Kris Citowicz (@guest_819452)
2 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Have you lost any sense of reality? We should be preparing for war with Russia? What part of history lessons you have missed? To try defeat Russia you’ll have to sacrifice UK and most of Europe and you will still not win. We should be seeking diplomatic solutions, period.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_819855)
23 hours ago
Reply to  Kris Citowicz

Mr Bell is just passing on information and making a reasonable surmise.

If Russia really is doing serious planning of an attack on ‘NATO members’, then every country in NATO, including the UK, needs to be militarily prepared.

That is not to say that we want war, but we must be ready for it.

Sunak and Shapps have both said that we are in a pre-war situation, and they have access to Intelligence that we don’t have.

I don’t see how reasonable military preparedness rules out the exercise of diplomacy to avoid war.

Mr Young
Mr Young (@guest_819599)
1 day ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Head of GCHQ is a ‘she’ (Anne Keast-Butler), not a ‘he’.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_819852)
23 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The nightmare scenario is the ‘Axis powers’ launching simultaneous campaigns – Russia attacking a NATO country in the Baltics, China invading Taiwan, North Korea invading South Korea and Iran launching every missile they have at Israel.

Of course, it will never happen……..

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_818846)
4 days ago

The alarming takeaway I got came from CO 1 MERCIAN: “We really don’t get much opportunity to exercise with other nations on this scale very often”.

Why the heck not? ….especially in the current geo-political situation.

S.crossland
S.crossland (@guest_819042)
3 days ago

To answer Mr Moores comment because the bean counters are allowed to run our military
In modern warfare you fight with what you have.Rate of production and training re WW2 cannot be replicated today. The mindset needs to change to what we need not second to politicians unnecessary virtual signalling such as green energy and paying for every one who turns up in a dingy. Still, maybe Vlad will solve the latter problem because be in no doubt our guests will disappear as soon as anything kicks off.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_819187)
3 days ago

Sorry for a bit silliness, its nearly the end of the week, surely this pair of tanks must be seriously damagimg the nice green lawn there?… 😆

Last edited 3 days ago by Quentin D63
GREGORE
GREGORE (@guest_819249)
3 days ago

” DAD’S ARMY ” TAKE 2 🎬📽 😅

TR
TR (@guest_819472)
2 days ago

I’m impressed the Army managed to field 800 vehicles… although who knows what a “vehicle” means.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_819857)
23 hours ago
Reply to  TR

A vehicle can mean a LandRover or a tank, but so what? The point is that in contemporary terms 800 vehicles is quite a lot of vehicles and we are all supposed to applaud the logistics which has got them to Poland.

Some people seem to think it is near-impossible to move large numbers of army vehicles of all types some distance from home shores (not sure why!).

Paul
Paul (@guest_819490)
2 days ago

I remember doing EX ULAN EAGLE on the same training area in the Mid 90’s!?

Mac
Mac (@guest_819561)
2 days ago

I used to play tanks on the atari 2600. Just glad the tanks have improved since then!