UK to send 8,000 troops to military drills in Eastern Europe
NATO continues to expand eastward.
The British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace revealed that the UK will be sending 8,000 military personnel to Eastern Europe to participate in military drills, as a demonstration of UK's military contribution to European security during the war in Ukraine.
"The security of Europe has never been more important. These exercises will see our troops join forces with allies and partners across NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force in a show of solidarity and strength in one of the largest shared deployments since the Cold War," Wallace said, emphasizing that the drills aim to "showcase the scale and significance of the British Army's contribution to the defense of Europe."
Sky News reported that the troops, alongside Challenger 2 tanks and over 100 armored combat vehicles, will be deployed to countries like Finland and North Macedonia.
The defense ministry revealed that the army, in addition to other NATO troops, will be trained to improve cooperation and collaboration, in addition to "deterring Russian aggression in Scandinavia and the Baltic states."
The troops will be reaching 8,000 between April and June.
Earlier this month, NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance is "in the midst of a very fundamental transformation," and this big "reset" will include the replacement of the relatively tiny "tripwire" presence on the alliance's eastern flank with larger forces.
"What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security," Stoltenberg said, adding that NATO leaders are expected to make decisions on "what we call a reset, a longer-term adaptation of NATO" at the Madrid summit in June.
The Secretary-General detailed that NATO’s "strategic concept" will address the "threat" from China, considering the close cooperation taking place between Beijing and Moscow.
In late February, two days after Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in response to NATO's eastward expansion, the alliance unveiled its plans to make a "historic" deployment to Eastern Europe.