In early May, the U.S. Special Operations Europe (SOCEUR) conducted its largest annual exercise in conjunction with a smaller one, training with special operations units from several NATO member and partner countries.

Trojan Footprint 21 and Black Swan 21 are especially pertinent as tensions with Russia in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea are still simmering.

SOCEUR planned both exercises to happen at the same time to simulate a full-blown conflict with Russia ranging from the Baltic states and Scandinavia south to Ukraine and the Black Sea region.

Army Romania Ukraine Special Forces Green Beret
Romanian, Ukrainian, and U.S. Army Green Berets conduct close-quarters-battle training during Trojan Footprint 21 in Romania, May 6, 2021. (Photo by Captain Roxana Davidovits/Romanian Army)

U.S. Navy SEALs, Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCCs), Green Berets, and Air Commandos were joined in the exercise by special operators from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Spain, Ukraine, and the UK.