Military Review

"Artillery greetings to Russia": a season of large-scale exercises opened in Europe

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Typical exercise landscape for Defender Europe 2021. Photo: US Army photo / Kimberly Spinner


The soldiers are training


No one in their right mind would declare military maneuvers as a practice of offensive actions of the army against a particular power. So NATO, led by the United States, Defender Europe 2021 was called an exclusively defensive exercise. But troops cannot be constantly on the defensive. The times of positional battles of the First World War are long gone. The era of motors, nuclear weapons and high mobility. Even the Wehrmacht, retreating under the blows of the Red Army, managed to snap very well. Therefore, NATO generals are cunning when characterizing Defender Europe 2021 as defensive exercises. Any defense provides for a counter-offensive against the enemy exhausted in the attack. And the defensive strategy of the current Defender Europe is no exception.


Source: cdn.dvidshub.net

NATO's military maneuvers in Europe in May are not exceptional.

Defender Europe takes place every year and brings together several dozen member countries of the Alliance with sympathizers under its banners. This year, Armenia (a member of the CSTO) nearly ended up on the list, but at the end of April hastily announced its withdrawal from the exercise program.

Military maneuvers, the scale of which Europe did not know for more than 25 years, are taking place on the territory of 16 states. NATO prudently excluded the territory of Ukraine from their number, but Kiev nevertheless sent the military to the exercises. Traditionally, the combined forces include subdivisions of Moldova and Georgia.

The Pentagon alone from the continental United States is deploying about 1200 pieces of military equipment. The American destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) and the missile cruiser USS Monterey (СG-61) will appear in the Black Sea.

Large-scale maneuvers carry a definitely provocative message for Russia. The NATO bloc is pulling together an impressive arsenal and tens of thousands of soldiers to the western borders of the country. Who will give a 100% guarantee that this armada will not immediately go over to the offensive?

As if making excuses, the leaders of the exercises talk about the complete openness of the maneuvers. NATO spokesman Oana Lungescu reassures:

"We are completely transparent about what we do and all countries have the right to train their troops."

However, when asked about inviting Russian and Chinese observers, Lungesku tactfully avoids answering.

Meanwhile, at such large exercises, where the number of military personnel exceeds 13 thousand, according to the Vienna Document of 2011, the presence of foreign observers is mandatory. The current Defender Europe includes from 28 to 30 thousand people, and Russia had the right to wait for an invitation for observers. But NATO strategists acted wisely - the exercises were split into several relatively small maneuvers, in each of which fewer than 13 thousand soldiers "fight".

General Brice Ude, Deputy Chief of Staff of NATO High Command Europe, assures:

"No more than 9 thousand servicemen will take part in the exercises at one time."

Such is the graceful scheme for bypassing legal subtleties.


Photo: US. Army / Sgt. Gustavo olgiati

Defender Europe 2021 will run from early May to mid-June and will consist of four parts at once.

Until mid-May, Swift Response maneuvers will take place, including airborne operations in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania. The Europeans generously seasoned the landing with rocket artillery fire.

In general, at Defender Europe 2021, special attention is paid to the artillery component. This indicates the preparation of large-scale operations against ground armies. Previously, most of the exercises had a clearly expressed anti-terrorist character - no one fired at the squares from the MLRS. Now, the red line through all the exercises runs an unambiguous thesis about "artillery greetings for Russia." So NATO members provide the defensive nature of Defender Europe.
Just a few days ago, the Immediate Response exercise started, under the auspices of which there will be firing at 31 ranges in 12 different countries and the practice of amphibious assault landing. By the way, the landing is very difficult to characterize as a purely defensive maneuver.

The Americans play an important role here. They will actually inspect the combat skills of military personnel in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. From overseas, National Guard fighters and the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Group arrived in the Balkans to participate in Immediate Response. At the end of May, the maneuvers will end quite solemnly - in honor of the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Croatian Armed Forces, large artillery fires are scheduled.

In total, at least 5 thousand servicemen will be involved in this part of the exercise.

Doctrine by Doctrine


When considering the complex structure of the all-European exercise Defender Europe 2021, the main thing is not to get confused.

In addition to the Immediate Response and Swift Response described above, Saber Guardian maneuvers are scheduled for late May - early June. More than 13 thousand fighters will gather here to practice anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense. The program also includes training in medical evacuation and artillery firing again. And this, in addition to the Astral Knight exercises (May 13-22), focused on repelling the air aggression of a potential enemy. Battlefield of maneuvers - Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia.


Aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth. Source: bmpd.livejournal.com

But that's not all.

Regardless of the main program of Defender Europe 2021, exercises Steadfast Defender and African Lion will begin at the end of May.

While the Defender Europe 2021 exercise was initiated and planned primarily by the United States, Steadfast Defender is already a purely European initiative. Such a kind of manifesto of one's own independence. The exercises involved about five thousand fighters, two "independent" powers - Sweden and Finland, 20 warships led by Queen Elizabeth and as many as 40 aircraft. During the Steadfast Defender, maneuvers are planned in the Atlantic, southern Germany and the Black Sea.

The African Lion exercise is planned away from the main theaters of war in Morocco. These peripheral maneuvers do not stand out in any way, although there will be about 5000 troops from 24 countries participating in them. Such a wide list of invitees suggests that the exercises will be based on practicing effective interaction in various combat situations.

Romania will be the nominal host of the Sea Shield 2021 naval exercise with 18 ships, 10 aircraft and nearly 2,5 personnel.

Domestic experts point to the completely offensive nature of the scenarios developed for the entire series of exercises Defender Europe 2021. Perhaps, only the practice of evacuating the wounded from the battlefield can hardly be called a defensive operation. In all other cases, military equipment with personnel is quickly deployed and immediately goes over to the offensive. Naturally, in most cases in the direction of mainland Russia, the Kaliningrad region and Belarus. We need nerves of iron not to perceive such "multi-domain" operations as a real offensive. Moreover, there is not a single observer in the camp of a potential enemy.

The exercises take place mainly on the territories of countries that do not have special military potential - in particular, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Estonia. The armies of these states, in the event of a real war, will have to live in a matter of days and the level of training is not particularly important here.

But precise coordination of offensive actions in relation to the terrain looks very attractive for NATO. And here neither the third wave of COVID-19, raging in Europe, nor the gigantic costs of the exercises themselves are an obstacle. After all, there is a crisis in the world, and the Europeans and the Americans are spending hundreds of millions on military maneuvers. Breaking records for the scale of the exercises.

According to plans, in mid-June, the final part of Defender Europe 2021 will be a command post exercise, after which the American contingent will go home across the Atlantic. And in case of the most optimistic outcome - "artillery greetings for Russia" will be taken with them.
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 21 May 2021 04: 47
    +3
    In response to NATO's "artillery" exercises, it would be nice, it seems to me, to hold "rocket" exercises for the RF Armed Forces, incl. and "Caliber", because they can be equipped with special warheads, if I'm not mistaken.
    1. Anachoret
      Anachoret 21 May 2021 10: 36
      0
      just about) I also read and thought, why on
      "Artillery greetings to Russia"


      do not show "rocket fist of friendship for NATy")))
      1. Observer.
        Observer. 25 May 2021 18: 18
        0
        Two morons is power
    2. NIKN
      NIKN 21 May 2021 13: 06
      +2
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      "rocket" exercises, incl. and "Caliber", because they can be equipped with special warheads, if I'm not mistaken.

      And for me something caliber because of the teachings of these assholes, it's a pity to spend ... let them shoot, otherwise when the same Tribals will have the opportunity. "Calibers for specific targets will come in handy. winked
      1. Nikon OConor
        Nikon OConor 21 May 2021 20: 03
        +2
        In my opinion, the best and most appropriate answer would be a 3-4 day deployment of a powerful grouping of our troops along the western borders. The main thing is that everything is as it should be - with entrenching, fortified areas, etc. I think it got through, do not indulge in the most.
    3. xorek
      xorek 21 May 2021 17: 48
      -1
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      In response to NATO's "artillery" exercises, it would be nice, it seems to me, to hold the Russian Armed Forces "rocket" exercises

      I think it's not worth spending money, they already know what we can do with them if we make Russia angry .. hi Let the history of Russia be re-read once more.

      These are the things that divers-rescuers do ... soldier
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 21 May 2021 17: 51
        +2
        Quote: xorek
        I think it's not worth spending money, they already know what we can do with them

        Knows the one who remembers and understands, the mass West now does not remember and does not understand that Russia has nuclear weapons and what it means. Exercises with the development of the use of nuclear weapons are needed for this, I think so.
        1. xorek
          xorek 21 May 2021 18: 09
          0
          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          Knows the one who remembers and understands, the mass West now does not remember and does not understand that Russia has nuclear weapons and what it means. Exercises with the development of the use of nuclear weapons are needed for this, I think so.

          Well, we have such exercises, all the time .. Only they don't write much about this and they do the right thing. hi
          Russia is calm in this regard.!

          How many things no one knows .. And I remember laughing at cartoons in the West and our libers .. Now they have already quieted down and Biden asked for negotiations ..
          1. Vladimir_2U
            Vladimir_2U 21 May 2021 18: 20
            +1
            Quote: xorek
            Well, we have such exercises, all the time .. Only they don't write much about this and they do the right thing.

            But in vain! I'm not just writing about the fact that the mass West now does not remember and does not understand that Russia has nuclear weapons and what it meansUntil the 80s, there was a rather powerful anti-war movement in Europe, including because the USSR's nuclear weapons were going to be used in NATO countries and was not shy about talking about it, even if "with the obligation not to use it first."
          2. Observer.
            Observer. 25 May 2021 18: 23
            0
            So this is also a cartoon. Yes, and Sherkhan calls on the carpet.
        2. Victor Tsenin
          Victor Tsenin 21 May 2021 23: 44
          0
          It seems to me that they all perfectly understand why peace reigns on a global scale.
    4. bayard
      bayard 23 May 2021 02: 20
      +2
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      In response to NATO's "artillery" exercises, it would be nice, it seems to me, to hold "rocket" exercises for the RF Armed Forces, incl. and "Caliber", because they can be equipped with special warheads, if I'm not mistaken.

      We already launch rockets on a regular basis, so you won't surprise anyone.
      But the resumption of nuclear tests (the day after the denunciation of the treaty on the moratorium on such, even on Novaya Zemlya, was just right. And the ammunition must be checked for suitability, and to remind that there is such an argument for the dull ones.
  2. Dmitry Potapov
    Dmitry Potapov 21 May 2021 05: 20
    +3
    In principle, I don’t understand why we would respond to such NATO exercises near our borders with the same large-scale response exercises to repel the "invasion" and launch a counteroffensive.
    1. Normal ok
      Normal ok 21 May 2021 07: 03
      -1
      Quote: Dmitry Potapov
      In principle, I don’t understand why we would respond to such NATO exercises near our borders with the same large-scale response exercises to repel the "invasion" and launch a counteroffensive.

      The exercises that NATO is conducting this time are much smaller than those that Russia conducted last year and this. What possible "transition to the offensive" can we talk about here?
    2. Blacksmith 55
      Blacksmith 55 21 May 2021 08: 43
      -1
      Learning is in here, and Russia is constantly arranging provocations.
      But at least they recognize that "all countries have the right to train their troops."
      In general, it is normal that everyone conducts training.
      It is hard to learn, easy to fight.
      Better to just learn than to actually meet in battle.
    3. dorz
      dorz 21 May 2021 11: 27
      +1
      It is cheaper and safer for the West to put a g̶e̶n̶t̶a̶ ̶v̶l̶i̶ya̶n̶i̶ya ultraliberal at the head of Russia, and this was discussed in the Russian and foreign media.
  3. GoraN
    GoraN 21 May 2021 07: 20
    0
    The bastards are training
    Nothing is important to die before death trained
  4. prior
    prior 21 May 2021 08: 49
    +1
    As for me, the only way to calm these "thousands" is by withdrawing from the limiting treaties on testing nuclear weapons and resuming the range of firing with nuclear charges.
    And let the infidels rage .... In the teeth - it means in the teeth.
  5. pytar
    pytar 21 May 2021 09: 08
    -3
    The author asks the question thoughtfully:
    Who will give a 100% guarantee that this armada will not immediately go over to the offensive?

    ... and gives the answer himself:
    The current Defender Europe includes from 28 to 30 thousand people ...

    From 20-30 thousand. no one will "go on the offensive", especially against a country with an army of millions and the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Captain obvious! bully
    1. Astra wild2
      Astra wild2 21 May 2021 16: 03
      +1
      A colleague of Rutar, the number of the RF Armed Forces is 700, and the PRC is not Europe
      Otherwise I agree
      1. pytar
        pytar 21 May 2021 17: 26
        -1
        Colleague of Rutar, the number of the RF Armed Forces is 700

        In the presence of a powerful thermonuclear arsenal, the difference is from a million to 700 thousand. the soldier is not that important. No one will attack Russia, well, in the next 50 years, for sure.
        and the PRC is not Europe

        Of course, I never said that. yes
  6. bandabas
    bandabas 21 May 2021 11: 49
    +1
    Well, what can be called the exercises, if the forces of the ministries of defense are participating in them? laughing Only as it is sung in the song- "We are peaceful people, but our armored train is on a side track."
    1. Astra wild2
      Astra wild2 21 May 2021 16: 09
      +2
      I heard this song as a child
      1. bandabas
        bandabas 23 May 2021 16: 49
        0
        "Song about Kakhovka"
  7. Astra wild2
    Astra wild2 21 May 2021 15: 54
    +5
    "Kiev still sent the military to the exercises" if Kiev is to be believed: their Armed Forces are the most, and if so, they will teach everyone.
    The authors of the textbooks will be: Goebbels, Halder, Brauchitsch, Model, Macarius. Perhaps Rosenberg and Himmler?
  8. Tramp
    Tramp 21 May 2021 23: 07
    +1
    again, as in 41 packs of fascists are going to. until vrezhim somewhere they will not be happy.
  9. akarfoxhound
    akarfoxhound 22 May 2021 05: 31
    +1
    Quote: pytar
    No one will attack Russia, well, in the next 50 years, for sure.

    And Russia will attack you in the most unapplicable way, right? Well you only flooded into NATO for this? Or did the Iranian threat keep you and the mattresses from sleeping and "couldn't even eat"? Somali pirates? Recalcitrant Zusuls? Penguins of Madagascar? wink
    Here it is no longer for the captain, for the rank of colonel "obviousness" is drawn!
  10. Burtas
    Burtas 23 May 2021 07: 31
    0
    And two dozen missiles are enough for us, and the Pechenegs, Polovtsians and Khazars are in the dust ...
  11. Olezhek
    Olezhek 24 May 2021 06: 44
    +1
    As a matter of fact, the effect of these exercises for Russia should be rather
    positive.
    If applied correctly in the field of propaganda
    And then, to this day, many of us are convinced that NATO is far away and not scary and
    against terrorism.
  12. AntiAleks
    AntiAleks 27 May 2021 21: 51
    0
    NATO is a real modern army - not a cartoon.
  13. kplayer
    kplayer 29 May 2021 18: 15
    +1
    Heh! And the 2nd Infantry Division, in particular, with Sergeant Gustavo Olgiati (photo, where the machine gunner is in the foreground) - what do they have to do with the European theater of operations? And this is in the ANALYTICS section - military go, not otherwise? Or what if you add something?

    PS: The headquarters of the formation in South Korea (in the same place the headquarters of the 8th PA, the division is withdrawn), the basing of the main units is the west coast (Fort Lewis, Washington), i.e. as part of the 1st AK for deployment in South Korea.
  14. yehat2
    yehat2 1 June 2021 15: 03
    0
    some pictures are not in the subject
    the article begins about artillery, and the picture is a bunch of BMPs
    then it says about exercises in eastern Europe, and a photo of an aircraft carrier at the mouth of the Thames, and it is not there now.
  15. Don Analyst
    Don Analyst 10 June 2021 09: 04
    0
    The presence of an organized offensive group.
    It is reliably clear against which state.
    There remains one unknown factor - the time factor. When will all this be involved?
    This military force is being prepared for the period of the political off-season in the Russian Federation.
    The period of absence of a purposeful, strong-willed and consistent commander-in-chief of the Russian Federation.
    Thus, in the book by William Burns, the former US ambassador to the Russian Federation, "Invisible Force. How American Diplomacy Works," it says: "Until President Vladimir Putin is in Russia, there will be no change in the political course of the Russian Federation."