BRUSSELS, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- NATO allies participated in the interoperability training exercise Real Thaw 2018 in Monte Real, Portugal, NATO's Allied Command Operation (ACO) said Friday.
The 12-day exercise starting from Jan. 29 was led by Portuguese Air Force.
It involved more than 1,500 personnel and 35 aircraft from Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Spain, the United States, as well as the NATO E-3 air warning and control system.
"This exercise is a perfect opportunity for us," said Royal Netherlands Land Forces Major Ger Snelders, a ground liaison officer. He added, "We can practice our English, other languages and integrate into an international military team."
"Exercising with our NATO allies is crucial to the alliance," said U.S. Air Force captain Matt Hancock.
The scenario and training replicated a realistic environment in order to include air, sea and land operations, according to NATO's press release.
The exercise's mission included air defense, close air support to ground forces and special operations of military and civilian elements.