NATO’s Steadfast Defender 2021 exercise, in which 12 NATO allies, including Turkey, took part, concluded on Tuesday in Romania.
The military exercise was performed “to ensure that our forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction.”
Later in the day, the Ministry of National Defense issued a statement emphasising Turkey’s contributions to NATO.
“It was emphasized during the video conference that Turkey continues its fight against terrorist groups such as Daesh, PKK/YPG,” the statement said.
The statement also said that Turkey will take charge of NATO’s “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF)” for the year 2021.
The 3rd Corps, which assumed the role of NATO Response Force Land Component Command, and the 66th Mechanized Infantry Brigade Command, which assumed the role of VJTF, participated from Turkey.
The ministry further added in the statement that Turkey also contributes to regional security with its ground, navy and air forces.
With regards to the situation in Afghanistan, the statement also underlined that Turkey is ready to undertake its responsibilities.
“It was warned that the achievements in Afghanistan might be lost if NATO’s and its member states’ support cease,” the statement concluded.
In his concluding statement, VTJF 2021 Brigade Commander Staff Col. Erdoan Koçolu noted that 2,200 troops and 550 vehicles took part in the exercise on the Cincu training field.
He noted that the drill offers a crucial chance to evaluate the swift transfer of soldiers by land, air, sea, and rail if necessary.
Adm. Robert Burke, the United States commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command Naples, stated at a news conference that the Turkish unit proven its ability to deploy and resist in an emergency.
The equipment of the participating countries was also on show for the attendees. Turkey’s locally made Kirpi and Vuran armoured vehicles drew a lot of attention.