NATO’s largest exercise in decades, Steadfast Defender 2024, concluded on Friday.

The four-month exercise involved approximately 90,000 troops, over 80 aircraft, 50 ships, and 1,100 combat vehicles, according to a press release.

The scale of the exercise was impressive, with more than 90,000 forces, over 50 ships, more than 80 aircraft flying hundreds of sorties, and over 1,100 combat vehicles from all 32 NATO Allies participating.

The training focused on enhancing readiness across all domains and at all levels of command, from strategic to operational to tactical.

Designed to demonstrate the Alliance’s capacity to reinforce continental Europe via transatlantic movement of forces from North America and the UK, Steadfast Defender comprised several NATO and nationally-led exercises.

“Exercise Steadfast Defender demonstrated the incredible strength of the Trans-Atlantic bond between NATO Allies in Europe and those in North America,” said Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Christopher G. Cavoli.

“The highly-complex military activities conducted over the course of this exercise have demonstrated that this Alliance is capable and ready to conduct our core mission of collective defence.”

At its core, Steadfast Defender tested the enablement and deployment of NATO and National Forces across all domains within SACEUR’s Area of Responsibility. This reinforcement occurred during a simulated emerging conflict scenario against a near-peer adversary.

The exercise was executed in two parts. Part one was a maritime-focused live exercise involving various headquarters rehearsing the strategic deployment of forces from North America to continental Europe. Part two was a multi-domain demonstration of NATO, national, and multinational military capabilities across continental Europe.

Brigadier General Gunnar Bruegner, SHAPE Assistant Chief of Staff responsible for Collective Training & Exercises, highlighted the importance of the exercise, saying, “During Steadfast Defender 2024, we coordinated, conducted and sustained complex multi-domain operations over several months, and across thousands of kilometres, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe. The most important takeaway is that complex exercises at this scale and ambition remain essential to stress-test our readiness, plans, and concepts, and for maintaining our operational coherence and unity.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim
Jim (@guest_824380)
4 days ago

Now cue all the Russian bots, main steam media and the defeatist to tell us how Britain is s**t and we don’t have any planes on our aircraft carriers.

Micki
Micki (@guest_824384)
4 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Except for the carrier and nuclear capability wich are on top, the rest of British armed forces are ridiculous compares to Major powers , sad but true

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824410)
4 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Cobblers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824420)
4 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Sorry Micki, but off hand dismissals of our military as being “ridiculous” like that wind me up, so I’m going to go off on a rant to balance things somewhat. “ridiculous compares to Major powers” Who are these major powers and what is the comparison to these factors, I look forward to hearing about other major powers equivalents to these specific capabilities, weapons, niche enablers, and back up tail. Army. British Army Training is not ridiculous. British Army combat experience is not ridiculous. ASOB, Ranger Regiment is not ridiculous. British Army medical capability, and the deployable FH in the MMR’s… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_824427)
4 days ago

Thanks for saving me this rant. Fully agree with the sentiment.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_824459)
4 days ago

That’s some rant DM 🇬🇧 ☕

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_824524)
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes a 🥇 performance!! Top shelf!! Well said! Read while having my ☕ in Sydney. 🇬🇧 🇦🇺

Last edited 4 days ago by Quentin D63
SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824480)
4 days ago

Yay, a happy evening spent looking up acronyms…
Good rant DM, you’ve laid out in full what the rest of us either don’t know or can’t be bothered to say regularly enough. I recommend copying that whole thing and keeping it somewhere safe to be rolled out every time it is necessary.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824488)
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

If you do fancy an evening of googling, don’t delve too deeply with the intell related ones mate, you’ll do well to find much on some of them.
Just take it from me, they exist.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824491)
4 days ago

So speaks the signalman from Surrey…
I’ll try, if I don’t fall asleep before I reach the RAF.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824493)
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Only the RAF….! Some of the juicer ones are further on.

😆 Just dont want you wasting an evening. I’ve wasted much of the last 34 years of my life learning this sort of anorak stuff, it might take you a while.👍

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824495)
4 days ago

Oh, it’s fine, I’m only in the middle of GCSEs so I have nothing better to do.
I reckon I’m right at the start of my 34 years so I’d better get cracking. That said, I prefer missiles to ORBAT so might not stick around.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824496)
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

😆
Missiles? I’m pretty clueless there mate, beyond knowing their names and who uses them.
Well over my head.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_824525)
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Good luck with them GCSEs SB!

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824563)
3 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Thanks Quentin
It’s Physics today so I’m not that fussed
Finished History yesterday so got that out of the way finally.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824645)
3 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Blimey….Ok. I’d read you mention a while back you were an “old boy” and believed it!
Apologies for not getting your sarcasm or whatever in the post.
GCSEs, God, I remember them! Took mine in 88, the first year of them I think.
😳

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824723)
3 days ago

I think I’ve only previously described myself as a “young person” so not sure where that is from. It’s perfectly understandable, I bet not a quarter of the commenters here are under the age of 50 and there can’t be very many teenagers who spend time in the comments sections of defence websites (unless Warthunder counts).
It would be very interesting if there were to be some sort of UKDJ meet or online event. Putting faces to usernames would be very interesting and probably enlightening in some cases.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824726)
3 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I’ve suggested as such before. I’m only 52 so just beyond your 50 cut off!!

Dungeons and Dragons was my thing in the 80s!

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824731)
3 days ago

I’ve had a go at D&D but given I have access to video games etc it’s never really made sense to me. It sounds trite but I genuinely struggle to be immersed in something I can’t see and experience (I get the same thing elsewhere, I struggle sometimes with maths unless I can write down or draw the problem). It feels slightly weird to know that I’m so different from the other commenters here. I’ve always considered you, DaveyB and SB the younger ones and assumed that the ranty loud ones are the old cranky veterans, but that’s probably just… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824734)
3 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Why, thank you. I feel young!
The stereotype on the older vets seems accurate to me. Their views will be even more traditional than mine. I try to have a foot in both camps.
Anyway, you’re not so different. You’re here, you care, and thus to me, you’re one of us, regardless of age.
It’s encouraging that younger generations take an interest in HM forces.

Cheers mate. 👍

Ps how’s the acronyms coming on?
Seriously, if you really want to know, and learn, I’ll go back and translate them.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824790)
2 days ago

I got sent to bed too soon to get through very many of them, one of the many downsides of exams. I’ll have another look through in a break, probably. I’ve only been posting here for 8 months (I checked) and some like you have for 7 years (I’d have been 8), and yet there is no group of “old timers” who stay separate from everyone else. I wouldn’t take me as indicative of greater interest in defence from young people. I get seen more as that one guy who’s obsessed with the military, but I don’t mind because it’s… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_824990)
1 day ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

(I assumed Daniele is actually Ian McKellen to be fair)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824996)
1 day ago
Reply to  Dern

Well I am also a Tolkien and LOTR fan mate, so Gandalf, and his knowledge, seemed to fit better than swash buckling Aragorn, who is my other favourite .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824503)
4 days ago

Wow, Daniele! Top marks for that one. Fully agree too. Our armed forces are not ridiculous – it is amazing what they do, despite taut funding. I would be fairly sure that their performance on this exercise has been very strong.

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_824392)
4 days ago

Apart from America, who is the second principle power that will follow their call to arms? Theologically, NATO Command would issue the orders but would it execute them fast enough to spike aggression. This series of joint exercises must have enabled the planners to observe if all parties performed in a coordinated fashion or not. I’ll be interested to read the outcomes…..that’s if they will ever get published.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824578)
3 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

All NATO members responded when Article 5 was called by the North Atlantic Council in 2001.