U.S. troops and armored vehicles and the Polish navy participated in a military exercise whose name rather suggests a substandard perfume or an “adult entertainment” actress who never made the grade: Amber Desire.
The exercise was led by Headquarters Multinational Division North East, which was activated in 2017 as part of the Pentagon’s and NATO’s military encirclement of Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad district. The U.S. has Atlantic Resolve troops and military equipment in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and NATO has complementary Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups in the four nations bordering Belarus, Kaliningrad and the main body of Russia.
Headquarters Multinational Division North East oversees the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigade and the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade as well as their affiliated NATO Battle Groups in Lithuania and Poland. The sort of armored units that rolled across Belarus and Russia eighty years ago today. Though this time under U.S. command.
This year’s drills focused on what NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe identified as testing the rapid mobility of the multinational forces’ forward command element. Troops and armored vehicles were deployed to the Polish naval base in Gdynia where an interceptor-missile/guided-missile destroyer docked recently during the large-scale U.S.-NATO Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) war games.
The North Atlantic military bloc also said of the maneuvers that they are designed “to test the ability of a task team with a mobile command element to move anywhere across the Division’s Area of Responsibility on a very short notice.” Lightning war, anyone?
Part of the exercises included a drill in the Baltic Sea, but the main part of them involved the embarkation and disembarkation of heavy equipment and troops. Much as occurred in the same location eighty years ago – for history buffs.
“Through this close cooperation with the Polish Navy, the Division soldiers have broadened their experience and skills so they are fully prepared to execute critical missions across the Baltic Sea region at a moment’s notice.”
And what may prove of interest, though hardly of a reassuring nature, to locals with a memory longer than yesterday’s carry-out meal and last Saturday’s sporting event, NATO mentions that the Multinational Division North East “is ready to carry out collective defence operations in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.”
Rick Rozoff is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO. This originally appeared at Anti-Bellum.