BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalJune 13, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 13, 2023
1 year ago

NATO Begins Largest Air Operation in Alliance History

The member-states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are carrying out the largest air exercise in the alliance's history.

Aircraft belonging to more than 20 member-states numbering about 250 aircraft will participate in the peaceful operation, according to Bloomberg.

The operation -- Air Defender 23 -- will play out in three airspaces in the north, east and south of Germany this month.

Aircraft such as U.S-made F-35 combat jets, refueling tankers, and AWACS (airborne early warning and control) planes will take to the skies in the operation.

The A-10 attack jet and Eurofighter Typhoon will also fly in the exercise, according to German military officials.

The 12-day exercise began with an air show in the German city of Wunstorf, according to The New York Times.

Plans for simulated sorties over the Baltic Sea and the North Sea are included in the exercise, which will involve approximately 10,000 personnel.

The Pentagon flew 100 Navy and National Guard aircraft to Europe for participation in the exercise.

U.S. ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann framed the exercise as a statement to Russia and its president Vladimir Putin, speaking in a news conference.

โ€œI would be very surprised if any leader in the world would not recognize what this exercise shows with regard to the spirit of this alliance," Gutmann said, according to Bloomberg.

โ€œThis also includes Mr. Putin.โ€

German Air Force Gen. Ingo Gerhartz framed the exercise in more restrained terms.

โ€œWe are a defense alliance, and so this exercise will be of a defensive nature," Gerhartz told the press in Berlin.

The display comes as the Armed Forces of Ukraine wages a counteroffensive against Russian occupation forces in the country's south and east.

Japan -- a U.S. ally that is not a member of the NATO alliance -- will also take place in the exercise.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal

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