In accordance with the 5th article of the NATO founding agreement, the Steadfast Defender 2021 Exercise, which was held to conduct joint training with allied countries for collective defense, to test the rapid readiness and deployment capacity for war, including the cooperation and coordination of the troops, with the participation of the press and special guests. A joint allied show of strength was held.
The 3rd Corps (HRF) Command, which assumed the role of NATO Response Force Land Component Command (NRF LCC), and the 66th Mechanized Infantry Brigade Command, which assumed the role of “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF)”, participated in the exercise this year.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, VTJF 2021 Brigade Commander Staff Colonel Erdoğan Koçoğlu informed that 2,200 soldiers and 550 vehicles from 12 countries participated in this exercise in the Cincu training area.
Colonel Koçoğlu stated that despite the new type of coronavirus epidemic, weather and difficult ground conditions, they reflected the experience they gained during the three years of preparation on the field today, and said that this exercise is an important opportunity to test the rapid transfer of the troops by land, air, sea and rail when the alarm is given. told.
Many equipment, from snipers to unmanned aerial vehicles, from helicopters to tanks and armored combat vehicles, were used in the exercise, in which actual shootings were made with the use of real bullets.
As the exercise scenario, the enemy occupation of Romania by a third country and the NATO members’ counteraction with a common defense line, acting in accordance with the 5th article of the Washington agreement, was applied.
Admiral Robert Burke, the US commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command Naples in charge of the exercise, said at a press conference held after the exercise that the Turkish unit, which assumed the role of the “Very Highly Prepared Joint Task Force (VJTF)”, demonstrated that it was capable of deploying and resisting in an emergency.
The exercise, under the command of Turkey, was appreciated by the audience.
“Kirpi” and “Vuran” attracted great attention
After the exercise, the tools and equipment of the countries participating in this important event of NATO were introduced to the guests.
While the US Commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples, Admiral Robert Burke, toured the stands of the countries with the Chief of General Staff of Romania, Lieutenant General Nicolae Ciuca, the 3rd Corps Commander Lieutenant General Kemal Yeni and the 66th Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander Staff participated in the exercise at the stands where Turkey’s equipment was introduced. Colonel Erdoğan received information from Koçoğlu.
During the exercise, armored combat vehicles such as the armored personnel carrier and armored combat vehicle “Kirpi” and “Vuran” developed by Turkey with domestic and national resources were also introduced.
Soldiers and guests from the member countries participating in the exercise showed great interest in these vehicles that Turkey actively uses in the exhibition area in the last part of the exercise.
Turkey’s Ambassador to Bucharest, Füsun Aramaz, who followed the exercise from the protocol tribune, stated that they followed Steadfast Defender 21, the biggest exercise of this year for NATO, and said, “Our country is a ‘Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF)’ this year. Within this framework, nearly 2,000 Turkish soldiers and around 200 equipment were deployed here in Cincu. Today, we are happy that this exercise was successfully carried out under the command of Turkey, hosted by Romania, together with NATO allies, and of course we are proud of our soldiers. we hear.” used the phrases.
Ambassador Aramaz noted that they received positive feedback and congratulations after the exercise under the command of Turkey.