By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
More than 14,000 U.S. service members from all of the U.S. military services are taking part in exercise Trident Juncture 18, which is taking place in in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden.
Trident Juncture is designed to test NATO’s ability to plan and conduct a major collective defense operation – from troop training at the tactical level, to command over large elements of a NATO force.
U.S. military movements from their U.S. and European bases to the exercise began as early as September, with II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., executing the complex and logistically intensive task of transporting thousands of Marines and their equipment across the Atlantic Ocean. These Marines are exercising their ability to deploy to Norway and quickly integrating into the NATO command structure so they are ready to fight.
Last week, the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) carried out a simulated air assault, employing naval assets, tactical aircraft and Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to seize a simulated military objective in Iceland. The Marines then proceeded to undergo three days of intense cold-weather training.
The live-execution portion of Trident Juncture in Norway will begin Oct. 25, with U.S. forces training alongside NATO allies to work effectively, swiftly, and collectively, to respond to threats from any direction and in any location. Some major U.S. elements of the exercise include: a naval exercise in the Norwegian Sea involving Carrier Strike Group 8 and the Iwo Jima ESG working alongside allied and partner navies, a large-scale amphibious assault and combat operations in Norway; U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft flying from locations throughout Norway, Sweden and Finland, and U.S. Army Apache helicopters flying in support of a NATO allied ground forces.
Exercising those tactics and procedures in different environments, as well as understanding the layout of the landscape, enables NATO forces to remain ready and improves our interoperability.
The United States stands firm with our NATO allies and partners and looks forward to taking part in this historic training opportunity.