Swift Response is part of Defender-Europe 21, an annual large-scale military event, led by the U.S. Immediate Response Force, which develops interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and European partners. This year, Defender-Europe will engage over 28,000 forces from 26 countries, which will be performing simultaneous operations in multiple training areas.
These special operations include air assaults and live fire exercises, designed to show airborne interoperability. Also, Joint Forcible Entries, which are airborne strategic jumps, are set to take place at nighttime in Estonia and Bulgaria.
Defender-Europe 21 was officially launched in Estonia, with a live-fire exercise at the Tapa Central Training Grounds. A few days later, U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion 319th Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Brigade, conducted an air-assault operation at the same location. C-17 military airlift aircraft dropped the artillery and vehicles for the operation. These heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft are specifically designed to carry heavy equipment, supplies and troops, even in challenging environments.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Army Training Command will also participate in Swift Response 21. And the U.S. Air Force will provide additional support for the operations, in the form of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, assigned to Joint Bases in Washington and South Carolina, as well as the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, assigned to the 55th Electronic Combat Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.