09:42 GMT30 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The upcoming artillery drills in Europe are aimed to send deterrence message to NATO’s adversaries in the Balkans and the Black Sea region, US Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie told reporters on Tuesday.

    "Fires Shock" is a series of field artillery exercises undertaken from 5 May to 19 June in Europe and Africa in conjunction with DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise.

    "Our presence and commitment to defend our allies in the Balkans and Black Sea regions are important symbols of assurance and provide deterrence against potential adversaries", Norrie said.

    Norrie emphasised the key importance of the Black Sea for US and NATO maritime and military operations.

    "The security of NATO’s eastern flank, as well as of sovereign nations in the region is contingent upon our ability to deter potential adversaries", he said.

    With respect to the Balkans, Norrie underscored continued partnership between the United States and regional states to increase the scale capability and readiness of their land forces to deter potential threats.

    In mid-March, the US Army launched its annual "Defender Europe" exercises with NATO allies across the European continent. The exercise aims to utilise key ground and maritime routes bridging Europe, Asia and Africa and incorporate new or high-end capabilities, according to the Defense Department.

    drills, Pentagon, Europe, US
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