The largest air military exercise in the history of NATO, the military alliance that includes part of the Western countries, begins in Germany on Monday. The exercise is called Air Defender 23 and will last almost two weeks: it will serve to simulate a response to an attack against a member country of the alliance. It will involve 10,000 soldiers and 250 aircraft from 25 countries. It will take place mainly in four airspaces in Germany, as well as in two in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic: for about four hours a day they will be closed to civilian air traffic to allow the exercise.
“We are demonstrating that NATO territory is our red line, and that we are ready to defend every inch of this territory,” said Ingo Gerhartz, commander of the German armed forces, probably also referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Gerhartz specified that the exercise will be defensive, and will not involve flights in the airspace of non-NATO countries.