Anakonda 2016: Greatest NATO Military Exercise Kicks Off in Poland

© AP Photo / Alik KepliczIn this June 18, 2015,file photo flags wave in front of soldiers who take positions with their army vehicles during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland
In this June 18, 2015,file photo flags wave in front of soldiers who take positions with their army vehicles during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland - Sputnik International
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Anakonda 2016, one of the greatest military drills held in Poland over 25 years, will begin on Monday involving troops from 19 NATO member states, the Polish Armed Forces said.

A Polish soldier stands near US and Poland's national flags and a NATO flag in Swidwin, northern west Poland, April 23, 2014 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The opening ceremony will be reportedly held later in the day at the National Defense University in Warsaw.

About 31,000 troops from NATO states as well as five partners of the bloc (Macedonia, Finland, Georgia, Sweden and Ukraine) will participate in the Polish-led drills. The largest contingent was sent by the United States – about 14,000 soldiers.

Around 3,000 vehicles, 105 aircraft and 12 naval vessels will also be involved in the maneuver.

"[Anakonda 2016] seeks to train, exercise and integrate Polish national command and force structures into an allied, joint, multinational environment. This exercise further supports assurance and deterrence measures by demonstrating allied defense capabilities to deploy, mass and sustain combat power," the United States Army Europe said in a statement.

For the first time the Anakonda drills were conducted in 2006 and since then have been held every two years. This year the drills will be carries out a month before the NATO Summit that will take place in Warsaw in July.

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