Poland's president and defense minister are visiting Polish and other NATO troops as they perform major defense exercises.

President Andrzej Duda and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz on Tuesday watched land and airborne troops at the test range in Drawsko Pomorskie in northwestern Poland.

The Dragon-17 exercise involves some 17,000 land, air force and navy troops and 3,500 units of equipment from 12 NATO and partner nations. It runs through Sept. 29 at locations in northern Poland.

For the first time, the biannual drill is being joined by Poland's new Territorial Defense Forces, which train civilian volunteers to support regular troops.

The defensive scenario of the maneuvers was inspired by Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Poland and the Baltic region are concerned about Russia's increased military activity.