Hundreds of British troops have arrived in Holland as part of the 2,500km road move for Exercise Trident Juncture. Over 2,700 British personnel will contribute to what is the largest NATO exercise in recent years.
Trident Juncture will involve over 40,000 participants, 130 aircraft, and 70 ships from 31 nations (all 29 NATO members + Finland and Sweden). Units will begin to form up on the 25th October.
British Army vehicles and equipment arrived in Holland having passed through the channel tunnel earlier this week. They’re scheduled to arrive in Norway on the 14th October, before the main exercise begins on the 31st.
British Army vehicles and equipment are loaded onto Channel Tunnel trains for Exercise #TridentJuncture a large #NATO exercise in Norway. Coupled with #saifsareea this sees British Forces demonstrating their ability to protect the nation at home and abroad https://t.co/Wnlh0gheuP pic.twitter.com/uLlq5OvFyK
— British Army (@BritishArmy) October 4, 2018
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that 7 Royal Navy vessels and a fleet diving unit will be participating:
- HMS Enterprise
- HMS Cattistock
- HMS Hurworth
- HMS Grimsby
- HMS Ramsey
- HMS Northumberland
- HMS Westminster
“This exercise demonstrates the strength of our collective defence. Together we are ready to tackle any threat, from any direction”
Secretary of State Gavin Williamson
The RAF will also be participating by providing Hawk Aircraft to act as the enemy and by operating remote air defence.
The exercise is a ‘scripted exercise’ and will therefore be played out according to a pre-written manuscript.
A ‘northern army’ and a ‘southern army’ will ‘play against each other’. The northern army is led by NATO’s Allied Land Command and includes personnel from Norway, Canada, and Sweden. They will also have an amphibious component from the US Marine Corps (USMC).
The southern army consists of personnel from Germany, Italy, and the UK.
From 31st October to 3rd November, the northern army will attack the southern army, supported by an amphibious operation from the USMC. From 4th to 7th November, the southern army will gain the initiative and carry out a counter-attack against the northern force.
The news comes just weeks after Vostok 2018, the largest Russian military exercise for over 30 years. It involved over 300,000 Russian soldiers, as well as 3,500 from China.
Nato’s spokesman Dylan White said at the time that Vostok-2018 “demonstrates Russia’s focus on exercising large-scale conflict”.
“It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time – a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence”.