The Dynamic Front 23 manoeuvres are taking place in the western Danish training area of Oksbøl, with some formations exercising in the Grafenwöhr training area in southern Germany, according to a report on Thursday.
The Danish part of the Dynamic Front 23 drills runs until Friday and features soldiers from nine NATO countries, including Poland, led by the US 56th Artillery Command, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Designed as a show of allied strength amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, it is the biggest artillery exercise held in Denmark since the end of the Cold War, according to PAP.
‘Strong signal of deterrence'
Col. Michael Aksel Villumsen, the commander of a Danish artillery regiment, told reporters that the drills were intended to send “a strong signal of deterrence” to Russia and demonstrate the “ability and willingness” of the participating forces "to cooperate transnationally in NATO," the PAP news agency reported.
He added that the exercise drew on the lessons of the war in Ukraine, “where artillery matters on the front.”
Taking part in Dynamic Front 23 were troops equipped with cutting-edge US-made HIMARS artillery rocket systems, Poland’s much-praised Krab self-propelled gun howitzers, and the French self-propelled CAESAR howitzers, among other artillery systems, reporters were told.
America’s F-16 fighter jets were providing air support, with naval gunfire ensured by NATO ships, the PAP news agency reported.
'Sophisticated artillery interoperability exercise'
Maj. Gen. Stephen Maranian, commander of the US 56th Artillery Command, described Dynamic Front 23 as “a complex and sophisticated artillery interoperability exercise.”
The Polish Krab gun howitzers, manned by soldiers from the 12th Mechanised Division based in northwestern Poland, were travelling between firing locations by public roads, attracting interest from Danish motorists, according to PAP.
Denmark’s Villumsen told reporters that his country, due to its “strategic location” west of the Baltic Sea, plays a key role in providing logistics support to US troops, "should a need arise to transfer them to eastern Europe."
The Danish officer suggested that the North Sea port of Esbjerg, located near the Oksbøl training area, could be used for this purpose, the Polish news agency reported.
Overall, the Dynamic Front 23 exercise features more than 1,700 military personnel from 18 countries, NATO said.
Thursday is day 400 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, NATO