NATO Wraps Up Air Defender 2023, Its Largest Ever Air Exercise


Air Defender 2023
Some images of the U.S. assets taking part in Air Defender 2023. (All images credit: Author)

Twenty-five nations took part in the two-week long “Air Defender 2023” exercise.

Allied air forces began the largest deployment exercise in NATO’s history on Monday, Jun. 12, 2023. Around 10,000 personnel and over 220 aircraft from 25 nations took part in the two-week drills hosted and led by Germany in central Europe. “Air Defender sends a clear message that NATO is ready to defend every inch of Allied territory”, said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu, adding, “Air Defender is necessary because we live in a more dangerous world. As we face the biggest security crisis in a generation, we stand united to keep our countries and our people safe. With 250 aircraft, including around 100 from the United States, Air Defender also demonstrates the strong bond between Europe and North America, working together in NATO.”

One of the 107 FS/MI ANG A-10s deployed to Jagel AB.

Edwin Schimmel is a freelance photographer based near Utrecht city in The Netherlands. His first article and photo publications date back to the mid 90’s in Dutch aviation magazines like Onze Luchtmacht and De Vliegende Hollander. Later on he also got published in international aviation magazines like Air Forces Monthly and Combat Aircraft. Since 2000 he works in the Air Traffic Control at the Royal Netherlands Air Force. He reported from many bases around Europe but also in the US and Japan.


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