U.S. Air National Guard aircraft start arriving in Germany for Air Defender 23

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  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

U.S. Air National Guard aircraft began arriving in Germany for participation in Air Defender 23, a German-led, multinational exercise focusing on operational and tactical-level field training, held mainly in Germany, with forward operating locations in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia, from June 12-23, 2023.  

As a defense alliance, the Department of Defense and NATO depend on war-fighting and assertive forces as the basis for credible deterrence. The U.S. Air National Guard and U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa units, together with our unmatched network of Allies and Partners, form a force multiplier and significant strategic asset to reinforce deterrence against aggression.

C-130 Hercules, assigned to Air National Guard Wings in Ill., Ga., Wyo., Nev., MN., and Ark. are the first to arrive at Wunstorf Air Base, Germany, for the collective defense exercise focused on Germany’s ability to command and control a multinational Air Force that’s operating from German airfields.

There are approximately 220 aircraft scheduled to participate, with nearly 100 coming from more than 40 ANG units. Along with the ANG aircraft, F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, are also participating.

A permanent military presence in Europe, like the 52nd FW, provides the United States military with strategic access vital in meeting our NATO commitment. That permanent presence sets the stage, allowing stateside Air National Guard and Reserve units to easily integrate with Allies and Partners throughout the region.

In addition to Germany and the United States, 23 allied countries will participate in Air Defender 2023.

The United States values the relationship we’ve built with our German Air Force Allies over the past seven decades. We are ready, postured and well prepared to integrate with our host nations, Allies and Partners to deter threats and defend the Alliance. Air Defender 23 offers another opportunity for our teams to demonstrate the agility and flexibility enabled by our long friendship.

Throughout the exercise, imagery of U.S. forces will be made publicly available through the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service at https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/airdefender23.

For more information on U.S. ANG forces participating in Air Defender 2023, please contact National Guard Bureau Public Affairs at guardsppt@gmail.com. For more information on U.S. active duty participation please contact U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Public Affairs at usafepao.pao@us.af.mil.