Approximately 5,400 participants from 15 NATO and partner nations took part in the exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, September 3-30, 2019. Nations included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuanian, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and the US. The exercise also partnered about 100 Multinational SOF from Bulgaria, the US, and members of the Lithuanian National Defense Volunteer Defense National Force, or KASP, with conventional forces. The aim was to improve integration and enhance overall combat abilities. The demand to come to exercises like these within KASP is so high that they have placed internal requirements to be selected.
“From my point of view, this is the most important exercise for my unit in that it helps prepare us for future NATO missions,” said the Bulgarian commander. “We are currently on standby in my country [as a quick reaction force], so this exercise is beneficial for us.”