LONDON, 4 Â October 2015: Â The biggest NATO exercise in 13 years will start Sunday, involving more than 60 warships, 140 warplanes and over 36,000 international troops from more than 30 nations. Exercise Trident Juncture will bring together armed forces from across the world to test NATO’s Response Force (NRF) and other allied forces. In a statement Saturday ahead of the event, Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said all three services, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the British Army will take part in the exercise.
“Trident Juncture will put the NRF through its paces — with specific focus on how it responds to a crisis situation — demonstrating NATO’s readiness, flexibility and capability of responding to threats from any direction,” an MoD spokesman in London said Saturday.
The two-part exercise, NATO’s biggest since 2002, will also ensure that NATO allies and partners can work together effectively, according to MoD. “Another important facet of Trident Juncture is to test the functions of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force — or Spearhead Force — ahead of it becoming fully operational next year,” the spokesman said.
Britain is sending around 2,800 personnel to Trident Juncture, including an Army Brigade Headquarters and Battlegroup, three Royal Navy warships and aircraft, including Typhoon fighter jets and helicopters. Amphibious ship HMS Bulwark, currently alongside in Gibraltar, is en route to take part in the exercise together with helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, which is Britain’s largest warship and the flagship for Trident Juncture. The exercise will help preparations for NATO’s new rapid reaction taskforce, which Britain will provide troops for every year into the next decade and which the country will lead in 2017.
Vice Admiral Ian Corder, Britain’s Military representative to NATO and the European Union, said: “Trident Juncture is the biggest and most ambitious NATO exercise in more than a decade, focussed on exercising crisis response, collective defence, and helping to shape the future adaptation and posture of the Alliance.”
“I am delighted UK personnel will be playing such a major part in this key undertaking alongside our allies and partners. It will be a clear demonstration of the UK’s unwavering commitment to NATO solidarity and security,” Corder said.