Exercise Defender-Europe 20 will reduce in size and scope because of the COVID-19 outbreak and recent guidance by the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe ceased. The U.S. Army said the health, safety and readiness of its military, civilians, and family members was its primary concern.
Linked exercises Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response won't take place.
The armored brigade combat team already deployed to Europe will conduct gunnery and other combined training events with Allies as part of a modified Allied Spirit exercise, the Army said. Forces already deployed to Europe for other linked exercises will return to the United States.
This effort has showcased the Army's ability to coordinate large-scale movements with Allies and partners, the Army said.
Since January, the Army deployed approximately 6,000 Soldiers from the United States to Europe. This includes a division headquarters and an armored brigade combat team.
It has moved approximately 9,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment from Army Prepositioned Stocks and approximately 3,000 pieces of equipment via sea from the United States. And, in coordination with Allies and partners, it also completed movement of soldiers and equipment from multiple ports to training areas in Germany and Poland.
Discussions are still taking place with Allies and partners, the Army said. It expects changes to the deployment timelines of Europe-based soldiers, redeployment of U.S.-based equipment, and the next Atlantic Resolve rotation.
Halldale Group is closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 outbreak.