WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Troops from the U.K.'s Lead Armoured Battle Group are participating in a Polish-hosted NATO military training exercise.
Exercise Dragon is a multi-national training program, made up of armed forces from Poland, Germany, Canada, and the United States. The U.K. contributed 800 troops and over 130 vehicles. The five-week program began in September concludes at the end of October. U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says the program is helpful for British forces in that it will better prepare them to work with NATO allies to respond to threats in the future.
"In a darker and more dangerous world, it is vital that we work with our NATO allies so we can respond to any threat," Fallon said in a statement. "That's why the UK is playing a key role in Exercise Dragon, contributing nearly 1,000 troops, and over 130 vehicles and tanks."
The five participating countries committed a total of 10,000 troops to the exercise, taking place at the Orzysz Training area. The program is designed to bolster cooperative combat capabilities, while also giving eastern NATO allies security assurance.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Garner, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, also explained that British troops would not be able to perform the same type of exercises in their own country.
"The Polish terrain adds a different dimension to our training which we can't achieve in the UK. Working so closely with our NATO allies has been great training for the guys," he said. "Obviously we have different ways of doing things, but bringing all this together in line with NATO doctrine has been challenging, but highly rewarding."
The U.K.'s Ministry of Defence says their country's participation in Exercise Dragon underlines their commitment to NATO and collective defense.