NATO is preparing for its largest military exercise since 2002, with more than 40,000 personnel from 30 NATO and partner counties participating.

The NATO commander of the exercise, Navy Adm. James G. Foggo III, briefed reporters on the planning for Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 at NATO headquarters in Brussels yesterday. Foggo is the commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy. He’s also commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa.

The aim of the exercise is to provide a deterrent effect and defense against “any threat, from any direction, at any time,” Foggo said.

Trident Juncture demonstrates that NATO is relevant, united and ready to defend itself employing collective defence, Foggo said. The exercise’s scenario posits a violation of the sovereignty of a ally — in this case, Norway.

Under Article 5, collective defence means an attack on one ally is considered as an attack against all allies.

The main exercise is scheduled for Oct. 25th to Nov. 7th in and around Norway with a preliminary exercise in the waters off Iceland Oct. 15-17th.

The core of the exercise is the NATO Response Force. The exercise will serve to qualify the force as combat ready. “Within this exercise we will have the 5,000-person Spearhead Force — the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force exercising in Norway,” Foggo said.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t help wondering about the US’s medium to longterm involvement in this organization? I’m sure there are numerous senior US servicemen and women thinking the same thing? Trump’s fire from the hip approach must make any rational planning very difficult, if not impossible. Interestingly, he will visit the UK soon, and for many, he’ll be as welcome as herpes. Yet I’m sure the UK Government hopes he’ll show a willingness to consider easing import tariffs plus, a reaffirmation of his support for Nato. If that is not on his lists of things to do, we all need to be mindful of what that will actually mean for the alliance and our ongoing relationship?

    • You must only get your information from CNN?

      Do a google search.
      Trump has reaffirmed America’s commitment to Artlcie 5 twice in the last year.
      SecDef Mattis has done it often
      As has the Ambassador to NATO Hutchinson.
      They do it more often than any fair-weather European ally does.

      Trump’s first budget (for 2018) gave a massive single year increase of 40% for the ‘European Reassurance Initiative’…. that is money spend on deployments in the former Eastern Block, over and above the already considerable commitments across the continent.

      I believe that the future of NATO is indeed in doubt.
      But that doubt is not from Washington, but from Brussels.

      Nearly a decade ago the EU formerly became a military alliance.
      Quietly over the last decade it been building up the numerous civilian and military agencies to the point where it formerly declared its NATO rival last December (PESCO).

      Europe doesn’t need & can ill afford 2 x competing military mega-bureaucracies.
      But the EU wants one nonetheless.

      NATO is on borrowed time, and it will be the EU commission wot killed it.

      • I think it’s clear that America’s interest in Europe is dwinderling as it looks progressively towards the east. Reality is Europe just isn’t the economic power house that it once was.

        saying that I don’t think America will leave NATO any time soon, since it is terrified of going it alone and needs NATO to justify it’s interfering in various non European countries.

        it’s all a game with trump. threaten to pull out of NATO at the same time as wanting new improved trade deals. Clearly the end game for him is a better trade deal with the EU or at least a better one from the perspective of the US.

      • I have to disagree with NATO being on borrowed time.
        The EU forces look good on paper but that is it. I have worked in the NATO Southern Command headquarters and at that time the embedded EU staff consisted of around 5 people who did not get or where allowed access to, the NATO systems for C4. They basically had observer status and that was it.
        The EU doesn’t have the capacity or the equipment to take over any of the roles that NATO holds.
        It would take decades and tens, nay hundreds of billions to start up and to take over the NATO roles and responsibilities…and that’s something the EU doesn’t have the money or the equipment for.
        Taking strategic air lift as a starting point the EU has A400, Herc’s and some smaller aircraft. The UK is the only European country with a meaningful global airlift capability with C17s. We are letting the French borrow them because they don’t have the equipment or the reach to supply their forces in Africa.
        C4 would be a massive headache to start up for the EU. Ground stations, radio nets, Secret level networks, the list goes on and one.
        That’s before you even get to the actual investment in war fighting equipment required to take over NATO roles.
        NATO will be here for the foreseeable future because the EU despite its bluff and bluster cannot afford to replace it with and EU force.

      • Never watch CNN Joe. Trump may have reaffirmed his country’s commitment to NATO but he needs to do it again and in Europe. The current bad feelings within the G7 does not bode well for the military planners, as the monetary and military agendas become almost inseparable. Brotherhood can only truly exist if the general climate is one of union. Sadly, that union is being tested?

        • Compare the the amount of Military assets deployed to Eastern Europe by President Trump vs Mrs.Merkel. He doesn’t have to do a damn thing again much less grovel for the privilege of spending public money on foreigners.
          A defense pact is a defense pact Europe trying to make it about economics will backfire. Europe already receives Americans children for their defense and American taxes to sustain their defense. Going after the rest of the everyday Americans wallet WILL exhaust Americans already limited patience.
          Brotherhood? Union? Americans have allies and friends. However the only political brotherhood or union the large majority of Americans have felt or will ever feel is between their fellow Americans of the 50 States. They will not feel a sense of Union to those who speak German, French, or even a dialect of English much different from their own. Freindship? Yes. Union? No.

          • (Chris H) Elliott – With the greatest respect we in the UK do not speak “a dialect of English”. While I agree we are two great nations divided by a common language (Winston Spencer Churchill quoting George Bernard Shaw) we here in the UK speak the Queen’s English. For which read ‘Original English’. Its you Yanks that butchered a magical language into something quite horrendously offensive to the ear. But I will just refer to it as ‘the American Dialect’.

            Or as Oscar Wilde wrote in ‘The Canterville Ghost’ in 1887:
            “We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language”

    • (Chris H) Maurice10 – while I am now one who ‘stands back in amazement’ at Twitter Twat Trump’s antics and rather odd take on diplomacy I don’t think we can blame him for telling it how it is to the EU and its partner Nations who have freeloaded of the US Taxpayer for their overall defence since WWII. I exclude ourselves from this as a) we have always stepped up to the plate (we were spending 7% of GDP on defence in the ’50s and ’60s) with manpower and equipment maintaining a big presence in Germany for decades and b) we are now leaving this failed political monstrosity

      Trump may be an oddball (at best) but he is not wrong in pointing the finger at the EU. An EU that now calls the UK untrustworthy and a security risk. A UK that has foiled many terrorist attacks on EU mainland. Well I say screw them and let Germany and France do the heavy lifting. NATO is in its death throes. The reason lies in Brussels and I don’t mean NATO HQ. Trump will not wear a trade war with the EU while funding its defence. And rightly so. Damn shame we are trapped for another 9 months before we can forge our own trade policies

  2. Quite a realistic scenario with Russia threatening NATOs northern flank and warning Norway that there will be serious repercussions for Norway allowing the forwards roller of 600+ US marines forcoldwesthwr training near Russia’s order.
    Reality is that 600 US marines will not be anything but a deterrent to any Russian hybrid warfare. Russia will not be able to make any territorial threats without risking an armed conflict.
    NATO does need to exercise its ability to respond massively and rapidly with overwhelming military force to even the slightest territorial infringement.

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