NATO Allies and Partners train together during exercise Trident Juncture 2015

  • 19 Oct. 2015 - 19 Oct. 2015
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  • Last updated: 20 Oct. 2015 15:32

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, was among the many guests to attend the first distinguished visitors’ day of the NATO exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015, in Trapani, Italy on the 19 October 2015.

From left to right: General Denis Mercier (Supreme Allied Commander Transformation), General Claudio Graziano (Italian Chief of Defence), Gioacchino Alfano (Italian Undersecretary of Defence), Ambassador Alexander Vershbow (NATO Deputy Secretary General), General Petr Pavel (Chairman of the NATO Military Committee), General Philip Breedlove (Supreme Allied Commander Operations) and Lieutenant General Pasquale Preziosa (Commander Italian Air Force).

Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015 (TRJE15) is the biggest and most ambitious NATO exercise in more than a decade. Over 36.000 troops – from air, land and maritime forces – from more than 30 Allied and Partner Nations and 12 International, governmental and non-governmental organisations have come together in 16 locations across Italy, Spain and Portugal to train, exercise and learn from one another.

TRJE15 will be the culmination of a series of dynamic and demanding training events designed to train the troops of the NATO Response Force (NRF), test the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and enhance NATO’s readiness, flexibility and interoperability in response to a changed security environment and to challenges from the South and the East.

During his Opening Remarks, General Pavel thanked “Italy for co-hosting NATO’s largest exercise and for your continued commitment to NATO’s operations and missions. I recognise that Italy, along with the other two co-hosts Spain and Portugal, have gone to great lengths to accommodate the training requirements of the troop-contributing nations, which is no small feat”.

The Chairman also took this opportunity to highlight the roles of Allied Command Transformation (ACT), Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Joint Force Command Brunssum and their commanders and staff who were also present. “Exercises of this scale do not just happen overnight. There has been a lot of effort throughout the NATO Command Structure put into planning, developing, preparing, and, since the 3rd of October, executing of the Exercise to make sure it meets NATO needs.”

The exercise runs from the 3 October to 6 November 2015. Part One (3-16 October) tested the command and control elements of the NRF and showcased NATO’s ability to work with external actors. Part Two (21 October - 6 November) will be a live exercise providing training opportunities that are not found in most national exercises.  

The exercise is based on a fictitious scenario, involving the use of military capabilities in an out-of-area crisis response mission. Events in the exercise will range from the effects of subversion and terrorist attacks to conventional warfare, cyber-attacks, Hybrid Warfare and humanitarian crisis.  The scope of NATO exercises will continue to be in line with the challenges that the Alliance may face and with the new adaptation measures.

TRJE15 also shows the Alliance’s commitment to transparency and predictability. NATO military exercises are intended to enhance security and stability in Europe. Everything NATO does is defensive, proportionate and in line with our international commitments. Therefore, in accordance with the Vienna document, all OSCE countries have been invited to observe the exercise.

As part of the day’s programme, guests were able to walk through a static display featuring aircrafts from 16 NATO Allies and 3 NATO Partner nations (Finland, Sweden and Ukraine). Visitors were also able to enjoy an air demonstration conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) or a fly-by simulating a Personnel Recovery, Search and Rescue mission. “As Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, and a soldier who has taken part in many National and Multinational exercises throughout my career, I want to acknowledge the effort of all the personnel taking part in today’s Distinguished Visitor’s Day and in the entire TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 exercise. The National forces of the Alliance members are all trained to a high standard”, General Pavel emphasized during the press conference.

At the conclusion of TRJE15, the Headquarters Staff from Joint Force Command Brunssum will be officially certified to lead the NATO Response Force, allowing the Alliance to continue to adapt to an ever-changing security environment.

Next distinguished visitors’ day of NATO exercise TRJE15 will take place in Zaragoza (Spain) on the 4th November 2015 and in Troia (Portugal) on the 5th November 2015.