Military forces from Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the US are taking part in the multilateral exercise Real Thaw 2023 (RT23).

Commencement of the latest iteration of the exercise was marked by an opening ceremony held at the Beja Air Base, or Air Base 11, in Portugal.

It was attended by the Portuguese Air Force’s Commander Lieutenant General António Matos Branco along with other officials.

Organised by the Portuguese Air Force, the multidisciplinary activity will run until 10 March.

RT23 has been designed to assess and verify the operational readiness and capabilities of the participating nations’ forces.

With a primary focus on synchronising different domains, the training event also aims to strengthen the interoperability of the Portuguese armed forces with other Nato allied and partner countries.

In addition, the exercise will provide an opportunity for the participating forces to operate in a simulated environment that is realistic. The simulations will further test their effectiveness and abilities to address joint and combined missions.

According to the Portuguese Air Force, RT23 will hone the skills of Portugal’s multidisciplinary forces and prepare them to undertake future Nato and UN missions.

The missions planned under RT23 are scheduled to be carried out from different locations to ensure that the drills have a minimum impact on the surrounding environment and population.

Some of the major events featured during the annual exercise will include airlift and airdrop operations, combat search and rescue, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, and other tactical training drills.