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Periodista del EMAD

NATO's Very High Readiness Force concludes deployment in Poland with 'Dragon 24' exercise

In Bemowo Piskie, Polonia
March 18, 2024
  • Poland has led one of the most important exercises in the framework of 'Steadfast Defender 24', the Atlantic Alliance’s largest exercise in decades.

Exercise ‘Dragon 24’ began with preparations and rehearsals for a river crossing operation, in this case the Vistula. This was an exercise in which interoperability among different nations and different ground and air combat platforms marked the most important milestones. The Spanish contingent deployed, made up of the Armoured Tactical Group 'Malaga' and the logistical units of the National Support Element (NSE), had the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities.

A total of ten NATO member states took part in 'Dragon 24'. Military units from Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States lived together in the forests of the Polish village of Opaleine as they prepared to cross the Vistula River.

Once this milestone was completed, and with all the personnel and material resources in the Bemowo Piskie manoeuvre field, a series of multinational exercises focused on collective defence were carried out, culminating in a live-fire offensive in response to a simulated attack.

In this exercise, dismounted combat elements were combined with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery, mortars, attack helicopters, and fighter jets.

Spanish units have taken the opportunity to train in urban combat with Polish and British units in the dense forests of the country. They have also cooperated with British sappers, which have enabled them to practice crossing a watercourse by rowing.

In addition to the initial logistical effort of stationing the detachment in Opaleine until it crossed the Vistula River, there was the transport of all personnel and material resources from the Drawsko Pomoskie manoeuvre camp to the Bemowo Piskie manoeuvre camp, a distance of 530 kilometres.

To this end, the "Malaga" Armoured Tactical Group has received logistical support from a National Support Element, made up of the Logistics Brigade, the 1st Communications Regiment and the 45th Garellano Infantry Regiment. For this purpose, the NSE has worked on the establishment of a camp in Bemowo Piskie with accommodation capacity for 300 soldiers, with kitchen, dining room, toilets and showers, as well as maintenance, transport, supply and sanitation areas.