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U.S. Joins NATO’s Trident Juncture Exercise

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The U.S. military will take part in NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2018 in Norway from Oct. 25-Nov. 23. Trident Juncture will provide U.S. forces with unique opportunities to train with NATO allies and partners, and will serve to strengthen transatlantic bonds in a dynamic and challenging environment.

A Marine provides security for his team during Exercise Trident Juncture 18.
Taking Aim
A Marine takes aim while providing security for his team at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, Oct. 17, 2018, during Trident Juncture 18, a training exercise with NATO allies and partners.
Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Menelik Collins
VIRIN: 181017-M-PR541-640A

Trident Juncture 2018 is the largest NATO exercise since 2015, with more than 40,000 troops from 31 nations taking part — including about 20,000 Americans. The Marine Corps will make up the largest U.S. service element, along with key assets from the Navy, Army and Air Force.

Combined training and security cooperation efforts enable allies and partners to respond more effectively to regional crises and foster interoperability. The exercise will also include more than 150 aircraft, 70 ships and 10,000 vehicles. An exercise of this scale allows the United States to demonstrate the global reach of the U.S. military, enhances professional relationships, and improves overall coordination with ally and partner militaries during times of crisis.

A Marine gestures while giving directions to a team member as a helicopter flies away over water.
Trident Juncture Assault
A Marine gives directions to a team member while securing a landing strip at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, Oct. 17, 2018, during air assault training as part of Trident Juncture 18, a training exercise with NATO allies and partners.
Photo By: Marine Corps Sgt. Devin Andrews
VIRIN: 181017-M-XY415-134A

Portions of the exercise will also take place in Sweden, Finland and Iceland. This exercise has air, sea and land elements, and officials say Norway offers the possibility to train realistically in all of these domains. The cold and wet weather will pose additional challenges, but will allow troops to train to operate in extreme conditions.

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 large elements of a NATO force. Although Trident Juncture is not a cyber defense exercise, it will help the U.S. build resilience against cyber attacks and disinformation.

Marines load bags onto an aircraft.
Loading Gear
Marines load gear into an aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Oct. 10, 2018, before leaving for Norway to participate in Trident Juncture, a NATO training exercise.
Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cody J. Ohira
VIRIN: 181010-M-HR246-0425C

NATO is a defensive alliance whose purpose is to protect its member states. In response to a changed security environment, NATO continues to enhance its readiness and agility, including through exercises like Trident Juncture. This is to ensure the alliance can counter any threat from any direction. Everything that is done —  including military exercises — is defensive, proportionate and in line with international obligations.

NATO officials said that Trident Juncture will demonstrate that NATO remains an anchor in an unpredictable world.

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