The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and partners on 6 June 2016 launched Anaconda-16 Exercise, the biggest ever joint military exercise in Poland.
The drill is part of NATO's exercise program and is being held just weeks before NATO's summit in Warsaw that is expected to decide that significant numbers of NATO troops and equipment will be based in Poland and in the Baltic states.
The exercise was launched at the crucial time when central and eastern European nations are seeking strong security guarantees amid concerns about Russia.
Highlights of the exercise
• The exercise is organized and coordinated by Poland's military Operational Command.
• It will involve some 31000 troops from Poland, the US and 17 other NATO member nations and from five partner nations.
• Some 12000 of the troops are from Poland, almost 14000 from the US and some 1000 from Britain.
• Anaconda-16 will run on test ranges across Poland and will be formally closed by officials at a ceremony in Warsaw on June 17.
• It will train, exercise and integrate Polish command and troops with those of other allied nations in responding to military, chemical and cyber threats on land, sea and in the air.
• Involved will be some 3000 vehicles, 105 airplanes and helicopters, along with 12 Navy ships.
• It includes manoeuvres such as a night-time helicopter assault and the dropping of US paratroopers to build a temporary bridge over the Vistula river.
The Anaconda exercise was first initiated by Poland in 2006 and has gradually grown to include many other NATO members till date.
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What: Launched by NATO
When: 6 June 2016