STAVANGER, Norway – With Exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 (STDE24), NATO is looking to the future and how it will adapt to the era of multi-domain and 360-degree threats.

STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 is NATO’s largest exercise in decades, designed to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence capabilities focusing on transatlantic reinforcement, interoperability, and deployment and sustainment of forces across Europe. It involves a total of 15 national tactical exercises, conducted from January to May 2024.

As NATO prepares for its 75th anniversary in April, STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 demonstrates how the principle of collective defence continues to remain as the Alliance’s first purpose, binding its members together and committing them to protect each other.

NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) has an important mission during STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024.

Under the lead of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the Centre delivers the overarching scenario and strategic documentation for the exercise, optimized for the requirements of the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA) concept, which provides NATO’s framework for stronger deterrence and defence in a multi-domain environment.

Based on the JWC’s DDA-aligned, Article 5 (collective defence) scenario, STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 will provide the first opportunity to test NATO’s new defence plans in peacetime, times of crisis and times of conflict.

The exercise is a milestone in the implementation of NATO’s New Force Model within the DDA, which highlights increased scale and speed at which Allied forces can respond to crises.

Replicating a complex and contested environment with a near-peer adversary, the JWC scenario will provide unique training opportunities for Allied and partner forces, simulating all phases of planning and command and control during a crisis.

In doing so, the scenario aims to simulate a considerable amount of cross coordination between NATO’s three joint force commands, theatre component commands, and civilian partners across multiple joint operational areas.

Furthermore, NATO will put to the test the concept of multi-domain operations at all levels during STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024, incorporating land, air, sea, cyberspace, and space domains, while primarily focusing on the tactical level during live exercises.



Archive photo, The Three Swords magazine, Issue: 39


Other Activities at the JWC during STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024

The JWC has been hosting a range of planning events for the United Kingdom-, and Norwegian-led exercises JOINT WARRIOR 2024 and NORDIC RESPONSE 2024, respectively, both to be conducted concurrently.

Integrated into the STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 umbrella, these exercises will take place in the Northern Atlantic and in the northern sections of Norway, Finland and Sweden, and will run from mid-February through early March 2024. 

Both exercises will involve over 20,000 troops from all domains.

The collective aim of both exercises is straightforward: to train total national defence concepts and the resilience of the Nordic countries, and to bolster the deterrence and defence capabilities of NATO’s northern flank.

The joint collaborative efforts of the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom has made NORDIC RESPONSE 2024 one of the largest exercises in Scandinavia in recent history.




About the JWC

Established in 2003 in Stavanger, Norway, the JWC plays a key role in NATO’s warfighting transformation: with its dual mission in exercises and warfare development, the Centre provides NATO’s training focal point for full-spectrum joint operational- and strategic-level warfare.

The JWC is also the exercise scenario generator of NATO. For two decades, the Centre has developed a multitude of settings, sub-settings, and scenarios to help deliver relevant and challenging exercises to NATO and partners.

Today, the JWC’s scenarios are fully aligned with NATO’s 360-degree approach, and they realistically reflect the defining security challenges of our era, such as pervasive instability, new technologies, and climate change.

Underscoring this effort is one single aim: to ensure that NATO remains prepared to respond to, recover from, and adapt to the full range of threats and hazards of the future.

Download NATO Exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER 2024 Factsheet here.