• Last updated: 22 Jun. 2021 14:54

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Steadfast Defender 2021

Steadfast Defender 2021 is a NATO-led exercise designed to ensure that our forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. It demonstrates the value of North America and Europe working together to keep our nations safe in a challenging security environment.



Over 9,000 troops from more than 20 NATO Allies and partners


North American troops crossing the Atlantic, moving across Europe and exercising with European NATO Allies


From May to June 2021


The majority of the exercise will take place in Germany, Portugal and Romania.


To improve Allied forces' ability to move quickly across the Atlantic and Europe to protect each other, if needed.

Follow the exercise

Click on the map to follow the path of Steadfast Defender 2021.1

  1. Maps displayed on the NATO website do not imply the expression of any opinion by NATO concerning the legal status or frontiers of any country, territory, or area.

Exercise Steadfast Defender 2021 will test NATO's readiness and military mobility – with forces deploying across land and sea, all the way from North America to the Black Sea region and off the coast of Portugal. With over 9,000 troops from more than 20 Allies and partners, the exercise demonstrates that NATO has the capabilities and the resolve to protect all Allies against any threat.

- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Explore the exercise

Why do we exercise?

Regular exercises allow NATO and partners to train together, identifying what works and what needs improving. Exercises are defensive, proportionate and announced months in advance. NATO Allies respect the transparency obligations under the OSCE Vienna Document.

Why do we exercise?

Why do we exercise?

Learn why it's important for NATO and partner forces to train together.
Why transparency?

Why transparency?

NATO's spokesperson explains why transparency is a key element of NATO and Allied exercises.
What is collective defence?

What is collective defence?

Learn more about Article 5 and collective defence, which is at the heart of Steadfast Defender 2021.

NATO exercise or NOT an exercise?
Take the quiz

Steadfast Defender 2021 and other exercises help NATO forces prepare to protect each other on land, at sea, in the air and in cyberspace. They also have some pretty unique names! At the present time, NATO exercises are identified by two words – the first word shows the NATO command responsible for scheduling the exercise, and the second word indicates the domain of the exercise (air, land, maritime, etc.).

Can you tell which of the following are real NATO exercises and which ones we made up?


Steadfast Defender 2021 resources