Thursday, May 30, 2024
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UK announces 20,000 British Forces to boost NATO

LONDON, England – In the context of an ever more dangerous world, the Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps MP, will deliver a major speech at Lancaster House today, to set out his vision for the UK to deter threats, lead among allies and defend the UK.

Following last week’s targeted Royal Air Force strikes against the Houthis in Yemen and the announcement of a further £2.5 billion UK support package to Ukraine, the defence secretary is expected to announce that in the first half of 2024, 20,000 service personnel from the Royal Navy, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force will deploy across Europe to take part in Exercise Steadfast Defender 24.

The exercises will see the UK’s Armed Forces join thousands of personnel from 31 NATO allies and Sweden, operating across multiple countries, coinciding with the NATO Alliance’s 75th year.

The deployment will see the UK use the RAF’s most up-to-date fighter jets and surveillance aircraft, the Royal Navy’s most advanced warships and submarines, and a full range of Army’s capabilities – from logistics to armour to special operations forces.

Defence Secretary Shapps is expected to say:

“We are in a new era and we must be prepared to deter our enemies, prepared to lead our allies and prepared to defend our nation whenever the call comes.

“Today our adversaries are busily rebuilding their barriers. Old enemies are reanimated. Battle lines are being redrawn. The tanks are literally on Ukraine’s lawn.  And the foundations of the world order are being shaken to their core. We stand at a crossroads.

“I can announce today that UK will be sending some 20,000 personnel to take part in one of NATO’s largest deployments since the end of the Cold War. Exercise Steadfast Defender. It will see our military joining forces with counterparts from 30 NATO countries plus Sweden, providing vital reassurance against the Putin menace.”

Among those deploying next year is 7th Light Mechanised Brigade Combat Team (7LMBCT), which led the response during the activation of NATO’s Strategic Reserve Force in Kosovo last year, and which will be operating across Europe to deliver one of the largest NATO deployments since the Cold War.

Enhancing the coalition between the UK and her NATO allies, Steadfast Defender 24 will bring NATO nations together and deliver on promises made at the 2023 NATO summit in Vilnius.



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