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24 Jan 2024

Steadfast Defender 24: NATO's Largest Exercise in Decades Kicks-Off Today

Steadfast Defender 24: NATO's Largest Exercise in Decades Kicks-Off Today
NATO Press Release

Exercise Steadfast Defender 24 – NATO’s largest exercise in decades – began today as the dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) departed Norfolk, Virginia, and after a series of operations will commence her transit across the Atlantic.  

The departure of USS Gunston Hall marks the first tactical movement of Steadfast Defender 24, followed by the departure of His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Charlottetown from Halifax, Nova Scotia, later this month. 

Planned over the course of several years, Steadfast Defender 24 will highlight NATO’s ability to deploy forces rapidly from North America and other parts of the Alliance to reinforce the defence of Europe.

“The Alliance will demonstrate its ability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic area via trans-Atlantic movement of forces from North America,” said General Christopher Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. “Steadfast Defender 2024 will be a clear demonstration of our unity, strength, and determination to protect each other, our values and the rules-based international order.”

Steadfast Defender 24 will take place in several locations, with associated exercises running until 31 May, 2024. It will be the first large scale NATO exercise where we will put our new defence plans into action, and will show that we can conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of kilometres, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe, and in any conditions.

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