Trident Juncture shows NATO capabilities ‘are real and ready’

  • 04 Nov. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Nov. 2015 17:37

The training of Allied forces during Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 shows that NATO is able to defend all Allies against any threat, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday (4 November 2015) after watching a live military demonstration of Allied forces working together in Spain. “Trident Juncture shows that NATO’s capabilities are real and ready,” the Secretary General said.

Trident Juncture, NATO’s largest exercise in over a decade, is currently taking place in Spain, Italy and Portugal. The exercise is testing Allied forces' abilities to work together and with many partner nations and organisations in meeting a wide range of security challenges. Mr. Stoltenberg said that from what he and other senior officials saw during Wednesday’s demonstration, “NATO is up to the test.” He added: “while our aim is to train and exercise, we are also sending a clear message, to our nations and to any potential adversary. NATO does not seek confrontation, but we stand ready to defend all Allies.

Trident Juncture also shows that NATO is committed to transparency and predictability, the Secretary General stressed. NATO has invited observers from all member nations of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and from other nations around the world to the exercise.

Mr. Stoltenberg was joined by Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenés,  Ambassadors from the North Atlantic Council and senior Allied military commanders to watch the demonstration at the San Gregorio Training Area in Spain. Forces from 12 NATO Allies conducted an offensive operation involving a hostage rescue, minefield clearing and infantry attacks. Attack and cargo helicopters including U.S. Apaches, Chinooks and Blackhawks also took part, as well as fighter jets which practised close air support. The demonstration also included the deployment of over 500 US airborne troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, who flew direct from their home base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to parachute drop onto the training ground in San Gregorio.

More than 36,000 personnel from more than 30 nations are participating in exercise Trident Juncture 2015. The live military training element of the exercise, which opened on 19 October, will run until 6 November. The exercise includes more than 230 units, more than 140 aircraft and more than 60 ships.