Shield 24: The first week is over

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The "Schutzschild 24" exercise is the largest Austrian army exercise in ten years and will take place from June 10 to 21, 2024 in the federal states of Burgenland, Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia. 7.500 soldiers and civilian employees are involved, including forces from Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, Croatia and Montenegro. The aim of the exercise is to prepare for protective operations for military national defense and to test operational readiness in international crisis management.

Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner emphasized the importance of the exercise for national defense and wished all participants a successful and accident-free exercise. Major General Martin Dorfer, overall exercise leader and commander of the land and special forces, praised the performance of the troops and emphasized the necessity of the exercise for the credibility of the Austrian armed forces.

In the first week, the focus was on the formation and integration of the militia forces as well as the preparation and training of initial scenarios. A special focus was placed on combating current threat situations and hybrid threats. During the exercise, some of the forces live in a self-sufficient tent camp covering an area of ​​240.000 m². Here, German and Swedish soldiers operate a field hospital together. In the second week, the scenarios are further intensified, which increases the challenges for the participants.

The Austrian Eurofighter pilots train faster than the sound (Photo: Bundesheer / Markus Zinner).
The Austrian Eurofighter pilots train faster than the sound (Photo: Bundesheer / Markus Zinner).
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