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US, Germany Launch Live Missile Rounds in Greece for Artemis Strike Exercise

© Sputnik / Igor Zarembo / Go to the photo bankAmerican Patriot missiles (File)
American Patriot missiles  (File) - Sputnik International
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The US Army is practicing artillery defense in a live-fire exercise with Patriot, Avenger and Stinger missiles as part of Artemis Strike 2017, which runs from October 31 to November 9, the Army said in a news announcement Monday.

Artemis Strike is aimed at boosting air missile defense capabilities through "integration of allied assets," US Army Europe said. The exercise, named after the archery-skilled Greek goddess of the hunt, takes place at the NATO Missile Firing Range Installation in Chania, Greece, on the northwest coast of Crete.

​Two-hundred US soldiers and about 650 German airmen are participating in the two-week exercises.

Artemis Strike is part of "a recent Chief of Staff of the Army initiative to… help bring back that capability of short-range air defense," Col. David Shank told Stars and Stripes.

The Army recently upgraded its fighting manual to prepare for "near-peer adversaries" who boast modern military capabilities, marking a shift from focusing on counter-insurgency operations. The military's battlefield "advantage… has steadily eroded," due to potential adversaries as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran having studied the Pentagon's modus operandi the past 15 years in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said.

A soldier from the US Army (File) - Sputnik International
US Army Shifts Focus to Fighting Technologically Advanced Near-Peer Foes

The US and German personnel will fire up to 100 Patriot and Stinger missiles from Chania, Stars and Stripes reports. Shank called the exercise "a great opportunity for these soldiers to do what they came into the Army to do, and that's put steel on target," adding, "this is how we improve our craft."

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