The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is preparing to hold its largest military exercises in Poland since the end of the Cold War. The Dragon 24 maneuvers will begin on February 25 – the second anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine – and end on March 14.
According to information from the command of the Polish army, the scenario of the exercise implies a military response to an attack from the east against Poland, the Polish news agency Rzeczpospolita reported on November 21. Preparations for holding “Drakon-24” on training grounds in the regions of Dravsko, Nova Demba, Bemovo Piske, as well as outside military zones, are already in full swing.
15 thousand Polish soldiers and several thousand servicemen from the allied countries will take part in the exercises. In total, there are about 20 thousand from nine countries, including Americans, British, French, Germans, Spanish and Turks.
They include a battalion of the US 3rd Infantry Division stationed in Poland. On the Polish side, the main forces will be sent by ground forces: in particular, the 11th Lubusk Armored Cavalry and the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division.
The armed forces will have 3,500 pieces of equipment, including about 100 tracked machines. In particular, Abrams and K2 tanks, Chunmoo and HIMARS launchers, Krab and K9 self-propelled artillery systems will take part in the maneuvers. In addition to Polish tanks, American, Spanish and French tanks will participate in the exercises.
In addition, military personnel from the Special Forces, the Territorial Defense, the Air Force and the Navy will participate in the maneuvers. It is not excluded that reservists will also be called to participate in the exercises.
“In the first stage of Dragon-24, the soldiers will act in the reality of a crisis situation, and in the second stage – during a defensive operation. The scenario assumes that our country was attacked from the east. The background we took for this exercise was inspired by the events in Ukraine,” emphasized the Polish military.