Hundreds of British Army troops have successfully completed a road move to Norway from the Netherlands, say the MoD.

According to a release, they will now begin training with allies ahead of NATO Exercise Trident Juncture.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster:

“With the Arctic and Far North becoming increasingly militarised, it is now more important than ever for the UK and our NATO Allies to train across a range of challenging environments.

This exercise will truly test our ability to deter any aggression we may face in an era of intensifying threats.”

Over the course of the next 10 days Army personnel will integrate with fellow troops from Denmark and Poland – sharing equipment, drills and personnel to form a multinational, combat-ready brigade.

Once complete British infantry and armoured reconnaissance vehicles, Danish main battle tanks and Polish armoured fighting vehicles will then conduct a week-long live exercise alongside brigades led by Germany and Italy against a fictitious invading enemy in defensive and offensive operations.

In total there will be 2,700 UK Armed Forces personnel as well as six Royal Navy ships, 480 vehicles and Royal Air Force Hawk aircraft.

With some 150 aircraft, 40,000 participants and 10,000 vehicles, Exercise Trident Juncture is the largest collective defence exercise NATO has seen in over a decade.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Any collective demonstration of intent is to be applauded. If however, the call was real, just how many would answer the call? Fragmentation is very much the mood of our times, from Brexit to Eastern Europe’s growing demands to be counted within the EU. The concept of so-called ‘Unity’ must worry some?
    What interests me is how the EU and NATO work? Are they the same cumbersome, bureaucratic leviathans or does the letter possess a more athletic approach? Adding sugar to a cup of coffee would occupy the collective EU assembly days, and even then, just how many spoon fulls would possibly take a further two at least! If there is only a cigarette paper between both organizations modus operandi in terms of response times, then we are all in trouble.

    • Indeed. I read your words “…the letter possess a more athletic approach” and immediately thought of France. I can’t think why.

      But seriously, you raise a very valid point. One has to fear that some countries – above all the many ‘Russlandversteher’ (Russia sympathisers) in German society would make that country a highly unreliable and questionable ally in the event of a real confrontation.

  2. I would hope that NATO is more athletic. However, the US is the cornerstone of the organisation and without it NATO is next to nothing.

    How many would answer the call? I think a more precise question would be how many could answer the call? Not many, I would say. I think the Poles would answer the call and Estonia too, i’m not so sure about some of the bigger nations though. The UK would, but then we have the luxury of being on an Island nation that gives us a little time to act. Hopefully!

    • I think this depends on how much you believe the Russian hype, since Russia is really the only threat to NATO.

      No question Russia has on paper a significant armed forces, but what is less clear is how much of the gear is actually serviceable or how well trained the troops are or if a lot of the troops match only on paper.

      Could Russia realistically take on the European NATO allies, even without the US, is a big question mark in my opinion and I suspect the fact that even the eastern bloc countries (ones under most threat) are not mass spending on military equipment, would indicate that the NATO intelligence does not rate the threat as high as we might.

      NATO however has a huge border, with NATO assets stretched across it, and so divide and conquer could work, but that would only work to enable occupation of maybe 1 or 2 of the Eastern block, before it could be countered.

      Clearly it is impossible for us to know, with only public information to go on, but i do wonder based on how the eastern bloc is acting.

      • The former eastern bloc countries would expect the US to dive in, that’s the most likely reason they aren’t spending lots of money on arming themselves. That, plus the fact that they aren’t that rich. Poland seems to be taking things seriously though in modernising it’s military.

        • I do wonder how NATO would actually react to an attack on its eastern border, considering the relative wealth of those countries is now low (Poland had a strong economy and trade links to the UK before WW2, the UK didn’t attack out of good nature alone, and didn’t react when the initial countries were taken that mattered less).

          Reality is the US couldn’t react fast enough, even if they actually had a desire to take on Russia directly and risk a nuclear war (insufficient assets now in Europe). As such it would mainly down to the European members to undertake the initial response and we know Europe has never been united in anything decision wise. How long would it take before a decision was taken to counter.

          Any Russian action would be a surprise attack, involving low number of units (like Ukraine) aimed at taking NATO by surprise (big build up is likely to be countered).

          Simply relying on the US, no longer makes tactical sense, so i am not sure that is the plan.

          Assuming Russia really is a threat, it is potentially possible that the Eastern bloc has taken the view that they are realistically stuffed if Russia decided to attack, and so why waste money on defense.

  3. I’ve met a number of fomer Soviet troops and current Russian conscript troops; they really are nothing special as people. The contract troops may be better.

    What is comes down to though is that, as we have seen in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia is willing to strike, and strike quickly and decisively. The question then becomes, if such a strike were to take place against a NATO member, how would NATO react? I’m not so sure that there is true unity among NATO members. And how would NATO react if Russia took over Belarus or strove further into Ukraine? We, ie NATO, need to agree with our allies to do anything, whereas Russia doesn’t need to consult anyone.

    I can see Ukraine and Belarus been taken over by Russia eventually, or at the very least Eastern Ukraine becoming part of Russia, which will happen in the not to distant future.

    • What we in the west forgot or turn a blind eye to, is that chrimea was majority russian speakers and was suffering badly under the bad Ukraine economy. It’s hard to tell if Russia was seen as a occupier by the people there or a saviour. A question I doubt we will ever got a independent answer to, since both sides have a vested interest in the current version of the story.

      Will Russia to further, who knows, but the fact they didn’t when they had the perfect chance, kinda indicates not. No one would have stopped them taking the whole of Ukraine when they took Crimea and they could easily have done it, and yet they didn’t. Ok they couldnt then hide behind being the good guys and liberating the people of they took the whole country but equally why would they care when the west already doesn’t buy it.

      • Yes, Crimea is majority Russian, but it was still part of a sovereign country.

        Little Vlad still wants Kiev, and for whatever reason decided it was not the time to try to take it He only does something when he is 100% sure that he can come out the winner. Although even in defeat he will spin the propaganda that he won.

        Today’s news shows Vlad threatening the West over future placement of new missiles in Europe. I say ignore him and do it anyway. He will already be doing the same anyway. Do not appease him in anyway, ever.

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