The US Army is planning its biggest deployment of personnel to Europe in 25 years, with 37,000 allied troops planned to take part in a massive force projection exercise.

The US Army say that Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.

“The exercise, called DEFENDER-Europe 20, will increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly move a large combat force of soldiers and equipment from the continental United States to Europe, and, alongside allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis.”

The U.S. Army Europe-led, joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled in the spring of 2020 and supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries.

“DEFENDER-Europe 20 is a great opportunity to demonstrate the US Army’s un-matched ability to rapidly project forces across the globe while operating alongside our allies and partners in multiple contested domains,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the US Army Deputy Chief of Staff.

Approximately 37,000 US, allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate, with roughly 20,000 Soldiers deploying from the U.S.

DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the largest deployment of US-based forces to Europe for an exercise in the last 25 years.

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I’m surprised Trump didn’t try to block this to send a statement to Germany regarding their lack of investment. I’m sure this exercise won’t come cheap to the US tax payer.

Mark B

Probably didn’t tell him


I would like to see the US change its plans for transferring the Mildenhall wing to Germany. If the stories are true, the Germans have been making things difficult for the US Airforce to make the move? Yet little America (Mildenhall & Lakenheath) have a long and happy relationship with the surrounding area, and should not be ripped apart.


I remember REFORGER in the day… Huge, freewheeling exercise in the German countryside. Vividly recall having snuck off to a bakerei to get some fresh bread for my team. Ended up being chased in my jeep over hill, dale, and freshly ploughed farm fields by a Scorpion tank with a maniac in the turret throwing purple smoke grenades at me laughing his head off… Still got the bread though…



That’s the Blues and Royals for you Helions….


Reminded me more of an off road version of “The Great Race”…. Don’t ask me who was playing the Great Leslie or Dr. Fate…



Reminds me of de busing in some random Estonian village about 5 years ago with a super company of lancs and fusiliers, fully tooled up. The locals had no clue we were coming and neither did we. Total cluster that cost me about 100 quid in the local spar just to reassure them we weren’t about to go stalingrad on them. Madness


I found distributing Marlborough Reds did the trick in Bosnia. Worth their weight in gold.



Hi Helions and Reaper,

I worked with service personel for years and their stories never failed to have me laugthing my head off. Thanks for the hilarious imagery guys. 🙂


Thanks C.R. The best had to be seeing the face of the impatient German gentleman in his brand new Mercedes who decided to tailgate an M1 Abrams to get around an armored convoy when they were first fielded in CENTAG. You could tailgate a M48A3 since it was diesel however, the M1s being gas turbine (jet engine) powered were a completely different beast. Poor chap didn’t know the difference. Hanging a couple feet from the exhaust ports of the M1 did a rather neat job of peeling back the paint on his front end and hood. Worse for him, he… Read more »


Classic 🙂

It all always surprises me how unthinking drivers are! I wouldn’t put myself between two armoured vehicles if I could at all avoid it. They’re big and heavy and from what I’ve been told (sometime ago now to be fair) they don’t always have the best of brakes..! And we’ve all see videos of Sherman tanks parking on top of cars for the fun of it! Other tanks are available!


It was VERY common in W. Germany at the time. The German drivers were so used to heavy armor convoys rolling through the landscape that they thought nothing of playing games of “Chicken” with tanks and APCs. Of course, it DID occasionally end in a dismal fashion for some of them… Yet those (often hilarious) examples didn’t seem to deter them.


john melling

Are we going to see a decent contribution from our side, surely we can put something together?

Peter E

All the evidence suggests that we currently don’t even know what our deployable mechanised force is supposed to consist of, or how it will get to the fight as a coherent whole. Challenger and Warrior upgrade programmes are stumbling. Boxer isn’t here yet and has only been ordered as an APC. Ajax is coming but no-one has articulated how its going to be used. AS90 is short on numbers and range, MLRS lacks the latest munitions, and Bulldog and Scimitar are still rumbling round the Baltics pretending everything is just fine. The biggest deterrence to the Russians is to incapacitate… Read more »

Sky Soldier

The only ones we trust are the Brits! I was very amused when French President Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron called for the formation of a European army to fight against America, Russia and China when in point of such a force already existed in World War Two it was called the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French) or the 33rd SS Infantry Division and it made the last in Berlin in 1945.