BLACKFOOT– There have been a lot of people who are growing increasingly concerned with the news that the Idaho National Guard troops including the 116 Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, are being sent to Germany. Many people believe that they are being sent after the death of Qassem Soleimani, who was a top Iranian military commander. This information is incorrect.
According to Defender 2020, the United States Army travels all over the world performing tactical readiness drills. The National Guard does simulated trainings every few years and have been all over the United States to train in different areas. It is similar to their National Training Center drills, but it is special because it is being done overseas. The National Guard will begin to deploy with equipment in late April to May and should be there about a month to train.
The exercise tests all systems for strategic reinforcement in the event of military need. The Idaho National Guard has been aware of being sent to Germany for over one year, and it was on January 3 Soleimani was killed.
The Defender 2020 is going to be the third largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War. It will help test the Army's ability to pack up from a fort in the United States to port in the United States, then to ports in Europe. The exercise is going to have 15 NATO countries and two partner nations. NATO will also be participating down at the tactical level. Having a collective defense, as well as a demonstration of defenses, will be a good deterrent.
Defense News states, "For NATO, its ability to receive forces and equipment from the U.S., stage them, move them forward onto the battlefield and integrate them, will be the focus throughout the exercise. Though this has been simulated before, in this case we're not simulating it, we are doing it. We are actually going to conduct defensive operations collectively."
This training will help evaluate the current state of military mobility and lets countries operate together. Having mobility tested on a massive scale, is not easy. During Defender, participants will have to move massive amounts of equipment and troops across countries in the northeast of the continent. It will also test infrastructure and border policies.
According to Defense News it will become an annual series taking place in the Pacific and Europe. Every other year will be a light year moving forward. However, this year will be a heavy year.