NATO Secretary General briefs on exercise Trident Juncture
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg briefed media on Wednesday (24 October 2018) ahead of Trident Juncture, NATO’s biggest exercise since the end of the Cold War. Trident Juncture will include around 65 ships, 250 aircraft, 10,000 vehicles and 50,000 personnel from across the Alliance. All 29 Allies are participating, as well as NATO partners Finland and Sweden. “This is a strong display of our capabilities and of our resolve to work together,” said the Secretary General.
Mr. Stoltenberg outlined the scenario of the exercise, which will test NATO’s ability to restore the sovereignty of an Ally after an act of armed aggression. The exercise will also test and certify the NATO Response Force for 2019. “Trident Juncture sends a clear message, to our nations and to any potential adversary: NATO does not seek confrontation, but we stand ready to defend all Allies against any threat,” he said.
The Secretary General underlined that exercise Trident Juncture is a huge logistical undertaking. Since August, around 180 flights, 60 ships of equipment and personnel have arrived at 27 different locations across Norway, from as far away as California. “Today, all our forces and equipment are in place – from the largest ship, to the smallest drone,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. He added that moving troops and equipment on such a scale is a multinational effort.
Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that an important part of Trident Juncture will take place at sea, and Admiral James Foggo will command the whole exercise from aboard the USS Mount Whitney. “NATO is committed to securing the Atlantic and Trident Juncture demonstrates the enduring strength of the transatlantic bond,” he said. Thousands of forces from the United States and Canada will take part in the exercise, deploying some of their most capable assets, including the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
Addressing the issue of transparency, the Secretary General noted that all members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have been invited to send observers to Trident Juncture. “I welcome that Russia, as well as Belarus have accepted the invitation,” he said. Mr. Stoltenberg added that NATO also briefed Russia on the exercise in the NATO-Russia Council earlier this year.
More information on exercise Trident Juncture here.