US military forces took a contingent of the US military equipment stored in the Belgian municipality of Zutendaal on Thursday, as part of the 'Defender Europe 20' military exercise.
An inventory and verification drill was reportedly conducted at the site. The US soldiers were to retrieve such military equipment and vehicles as tactical trucks, sustainment equipment, material handling equipment and containers among others.
"This exercise gives us the ability to bring soldiers over from the United States, rapidly draw equipment and move it out east," said Deputy Chief of the Mission (DCM) at the US embassy to Belgium Nicolas Berliner.
Berliner stressed the importance of the exercise, noting that "it allows us to understand how long it's going to take us to issue the equipment and what requirements we have here on the site of Zutendaal."
According to Berliner, "this is the first time in about 25 years that we've conducted such a large-scale exercise."