Seven Royal Navy ships joined vessels from the alliance in a 65-vessel force, with Royal Marines from 45 Commando on a US assault ship and Fleet Air Arm Merlin helicopters hunting submarines.
According to a Royal Navy release:
“The two-week workout – which stretched from Reykjavik in Iceland to Narvik in the Arctic Circle and Trøndelag in central Norway – drew in more than 50,000 military personnel in all, with in excess of 10,000 vehicles rumbling along the winding Norwegian roads.
Frigates HMS Northumberland and Westminster spearheaded Royal Navy involvement in Trident Juncture, sailing from Iceland to the Norwegian Sea as part of a task group formed around the American assault ship USS Iwo Jima.”
Trident Juncture 18 is a NATO-led military exercise held in Norway in October and November with an Article 5 collective defence scenario.
The exercise was the largest of its kind in Norway since the 1980s. An expected 50,000 participants from 31 nations joined in, including 10,000 vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels.
The exercise was centred in central and eastern parts of Norway, and air and sea areas around Norway, Sweden and Finland. The stated goal of Trident Juncture is to train the NATO Response Force and to test the alliance’s defence capability.
“Exercise Trident Juncture is a clear and unambiguous demonstration of just why we must stand shoulder to shoulder with our NATO allies,” said Northumberland’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Canale.
“Operating in a large multi-national task group is not easy and needs commitment and willing from us all. The opportunity to replenish with our French Navy colleagues was a useful reminder of the close military links that exist between our two navies.”