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NATO Begins Anakonda-2018 Drills in Poland

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the photo bankThe welcoming ceremony for NATO's multinational battalion headed by the USA in Orzysz, Poland.
The welcoming ceremony for NATO's multinational battalion headed by the USA in Orzysz, Poland. - Sputnik International
WARSAW (Sputnik) - NATO's major military drills, dubbed Anakonda-2018 and involving troops from 10 countries, will begin Wednesday in Poland.

The key goal of the exercises is to integrate national and allied command structures and troops so that they could conduct a strategic defensive operation in conditions of conventional and hybrid threats. NATO troops will, in particular, work out the interaction of military bodies with civilian bodies and individual elements of NATO command structures.

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Members of US 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery during the NATO multinational ground based air defence units exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 at the Siauliai airbase. (File) - Sputnik International
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Anakonda is set to become the biggest military maneuvers for the Polish Armed Forces this year. The drills will approximately involve 12,500 troops on Polish territory and some extra 5,000 troops in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and in the Baltic Sea. About 5,000 units of military hardware, 45 warships, 150 aircraft and helicopters will be involved in the maneuvers.

The main phase of the maneuvers includes large-scale Live Exercise (LIVEX) on November 7-16 and the Command Post Exercise (CPX) on November 26-December 6.

The exercises will, in particular, include a crossing over the Vistula river, training of combat aviation landing on highways and an operation to liberate a captured sea vessel. Separate episodes of the exercises will be organized in urban areas, including in Bialystok, Chelm and Wielbark. During the exercises, the forced relocation of civilian population from a combat zone will be performed for the first time. Such training will be held in the city of Bialystok bordering Belarus.

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