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NATO troops disembark for major exercise in Poland

Vehicles of NATO's "Spearhead" force disembark on arrival from Spain at the port of Szczecin, Poland, on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 as part of the "Brillant Jump" exercise that is to test the rapid reaction force's capability to quickly relocate to wherever the alliance is facing a threat. Hundreds of troops from Spain, Britain, Albania and Poland are to take part in the exercise that will run until May 27 at the western Zagan test range. (AP Photo/Lukasz Szelemej) POLAND OUT
May 18, 2016 - 7:57 AM

WARSAW, Poland - Equipment belonging to NATO's new "Spearhead" rapid-reaction force was disembarked in a Polish port on Wednesday as part of a major test of the force's capability to quickly relocate wherever the alliance faces a threat.

Some 500 items and hundreds of troops arrived in Szczecin by ship from Spain and were to travel immediately to a test range in western Zagan, where they are to be joined by more equipment and troops from Britain, Albania and Poland for the "Brilliant Jump" exercise that runs until May 27.

Lt. Gen. Manfred Hofmann, commander of a multinational corps based in Szczecin, said the exercise is to "prove in the coming days that NATO is ready to defend all its allies."

Next month, some of the troops will take part in the biggest military exercise on Polish soil since the 1989 transition to democracy, the "Anaconda-16" exercise that is to involve some 30,000 troops, including from the U.S.

Poland, concerned over neighbour Russia's actions, has sought firm security guarantees from NATO. Among other things, it has requested a permanent presence of U.S. troops on its soil, arguing that NATO's eastern flank is still lacking that. Such guarantees are to be set at NATO's summit in July in Warsaw.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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