On Aug. 18, the United States announced that it has launched the largest allied airborne drills in Europe since the Cold War. This comes as fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces escalates in eastern Ukraine. Almost 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO allies are participating in the four-week “simultaneous multinational airborne operations” across Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania, which began Aug. 15.
“Swift Response 15 is the largest combined airborne training on the continent since the end of the Cold War,” reads a statement from the Army. “It’s designed to integrate multiple Allied nations’ high-readiness forces to operate as a cohesive team and demonstrate the Alliance’s capacity to rapidly deploy and operate in support of maintaining a strong and secure Europe.”