In the largest military exercise of its kind since the end of the Cold War, the United States is leading NATO allies and partners in a test of operational readiness.
Trident Juncture began October 25 and ends November 7 in Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden. The international exercise includes 65 ships, 250 aircraft, 10,000 vehicles and 50,000 personnel and is part of a regular schedule of multinational exercises that test NATO’s ability to operate in different situations and environments.
This exercise “will have a deterrent effect on anybody who might think about crossing a contiguous border or violating the sovereignty of a member of the NATO alliance,” said U.S. Admiral James Foggo, who is commanding Trident Juncture. All 29 NATO members are participating in the exercise, joined by Sweden and Finland.
Under a NATO flag
Marines on the march
Different landscapes, different camouflage
Training with non-NATO partners
Cold weather training
Over the years, NATO — a defensive alliance that formed in 1949 to address the threat of a hostile Soviet Union — has adapted and expanded, but the alliance remains a cornerstone of American security.
The central premise of the NATO alliance, enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, is that an attack on any member is considered an attack against them all. The United States is the largest contributor to NATO’s forces. To improve NATO’s readiness and ability, the 29 allied nations have pledged to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense and 20 percent of their overall defense spending on modernization by 2024.
More than 14,000 U.S. service members from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are participating in Exercise Trident Juncture. Immediately after Trident Juncture, NATO forces will take part in Anakonda, a military exercise hosted by Poland and Baltic nations.
The lessons learned from Norway are relevant to other countries, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “It is important,” he said, “to show that we are able to support and defend any ally against any threat.”