NAPLES, Italy – With Exercise Trident Juncture 18 on the horizon, preparations are in full force beginning with the Joint Logistics Support Group, better known as the JLSG.
The JLSG is comprised of members from the logistics unit located at Allied Joint Force Command Naples. Their sole task is to ensure the movement of troops, vehicles and supplies reach their destination in order to execute Exercise Trident Juncture 18. This means moving parts coming from all over the world, from the U.S., from Italy and to include JFC Naples personnel to Norway.
This daunting task is led by Croatian Army Brigadier General Darko Pintaric, assistant chief of staff of Logistics and commander of JLSG. Pintaric is responsible for command and control of the units including setting up the staging area for all participants, sustaining the forces during the exercise and the re-deployment of forces back to their respective home stations.
"As JLSG Commander, my main task is to ensure that the JLSG mission is carried out smoothly, effectively and that we finish all of our tasks on time,” said Pintaric.
To complete this tasking, it takes a multinational team to complete the job at hand. Pintaric’s command is comprised of 130 personnel with subordinate battalion and other units totaling approximately 1,000 troops.
Two members of the team, Romanian Army Lieutenant Colonel Sorin Sularu, JLSG branch chief of transportation, and U.S. Air Force Captain Jason Loucks, air operations section head of movement and transportation, are leading the charge for accomplishing the mission.
Sularu, spoke about how their role in JLSG enables the rest of the exercise to happen.
"We need to be [in] before the main body of force elements to be deployed into Norway,” said Sularu. "So we can facilitate their reception and then onward movement to the final destination.”
But that doesn’t just mean that the JLSG is in charge of just the movement of troops into country, they also need to sustain those troops and vehicles whether it’s through food, ammunition or various other supplies.
"We also have a very important role in sustaining the force elements during the exercise because as a logistic entity at the theater level, we are responsible for the third-line of sustainment during the exercise,” continued Sularu.
Once Trident Juncture concludes, the JLSG team will then be in charge of the redeployment of troops back to their home bases. The team will have to ensure the troops and equipment are well supplied along with a clear path of movement in order to allow the troops to exit Norway.
"Once we finish up with that [sustainment], whether they call [end of the exercise] or any operation gets ready to close, we then proceed into rearward movement staging and dispatch which then takes the forces out of theater,” stated Loucks. "Simply put, three different stages, executed at three different times.”
This means, that a team with a main body of 130 people, are responsible for the movement of more than 40,000 troops from more than 30 nations and partners, making it NATO’s largest exercise in recent years. While the role of JLSG may seem subtle, it is inherently the backbone of Trident Juncture. Their role as logistics brings in the personnel and equipment to set the stage for the exercise to take place and to be conducted.
From the thousands of kilometres of troop and vehicle movement, to the 800km of the main supply route, the Joint Logistic Support Group team is ready to take on and accept the challenge.
Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office