News: Annual NATO nuclear exercise ramps up, 14 October 2022

Starting this Monday (October 17, 2022), air forces from NATO countries will test nuclear deterrent capabilities in an exercise involving dozens of aircraft over northern Western Europe. This exercise, which will take place until October 30, is a recurring ordinary training activity and is in no way connected with international news.

The Steadfast Noon exercise involves 14 countries and no less than 60 aircraft of various types, including fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, as well as surveillance aircraft and tankers. As in previous years, US B-52 long-range bombers will participate in the exercise, but this year they will take off from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Training flights will take place over Belgium, the exercise’s host country, as well as over the North Sea and Great Britain. No real weapons will be used.

Steadfast Noon takes place in a different NATO country each year. “This exercise helps ensure that the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said.

NATO’s new strategic concept, adopted by Alliance leaders at the Madrid summit in June, clearly states that “the fundamental objectives of NATO’s nuclear capabilities are to maintain peace, to prevent coercive acts and to deter any aggression”. It also emphasizes that “as long as there are nuclear weapons, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. NATO strives for a safer world for all; [elle s’attache] to create the security environment that will make it possible to create a world without nuclear weapons. »

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