Military Capabilities

US Army to test new concepts and equipment during exercise ‘Defender-Europe 20’

06 March 2020

Idaho Army National Guard 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team M1A2 V2 SEP tanks (pictured firing while at the Orchard Combat Training Center in Boise on 4 February) will participate in ‘Defender-Europe 20’ with Trophy active protection systems. Source: US Army/Sgt Mason Cutrer

New concepts and equipment will be used during exercise ‘Defender-Europe 20’, a senior US Army Europe (USAREUR) commander has said.

Asked by Jane’s during a phone briefing on the exercise on 4 March which armour units would participate with Trophy active protection systems and what other new equipment would be used, USAREUR deputy commander, Major General Andrew Rohling, said, “The equipment is coming out of the Army Prepositioned Stocks [APS] in Germany and it has already moved to Bergen-Hohne, a training area in Germany. He identified the formation that will install and exercise with Trophy as the Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team. The brigade’s heavy armour consists of M1A2 V2 Systems Enhancement Package (SEP) main battle tanks. The formation will also exercise with M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Paladin self-propelled howitzers drawn from APS.

Maj Gen Rohling added, “During the Joint Warfighting Assessment in late April at Grafenwöhr ... we will train the concepts for new equipment and new doctrine that the army is trying to do as part of its modernisation efforts.” Involving 8,000 troops, the command post exercise linked to ‘Defender-Europe 20’ will address challenges like hypersonic weapons and cruise and ballistic missiles, according to the general.

Maj Gen Rohling reported that 15 of 27 air missions have brought about 3,500 of approximately 17,000 US troops to Europe; four of 10 vessels have arrived with about 2,700 of some 18,000 pieces of equipment and three more are on their way; 51 convoys are moving through Germany and Poland; and about 1,400 pieces of equipment have been drawn from APS.

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