Professor Rolf Tamnes, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, left, and U.S. Navy Admiral James Foggo, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, participate in a question and answer session at the institute during Foggo’s Feb. 26, 2018, visit to Oslo. Foggo visited various Norwegian sites, Feb. 26 to 28, to meet with officials about the upcoming Trident Juncture 18 NATO exercise. (Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Armed Forces/Haavard Madsbakken)
Story by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Patton
NAPLES, Italy – The most visible part of Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 is still some eight months away, but personnel from across NATO already have it on their mind.
U.S. Navy Admiral James Foggo, commander of JFC Naples, visited various Norwegian locations and entities, Feb. 26 to 28, 2018, to talk to Norwegian Chief of Defence Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen
and his subordinate staff and commands about exercise preparations.
Foggo’s visit comes simultaneously with the deployment of the JFC Naples’ Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team, or OLRT, to Bodø, Norway. The role of the OLRT involves a small group of troops to liaise with Norwegian authorities along with military and civilian counterparts as the environment surrounding the exercise scenario develops.
Trident Juncture 18 is comprised of two parts: a live exercise conducted in and around Norway and a command post exercise conducted mostly in Naples.
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Some 35,000 troops from 30 NATO members and partners, along with 70 ships and about 130 aircraft, are estimated to deploy to central and northern Norway in October for the live portion of the exercise. JFC Naples and designated subordinate commands will seek certification as the NATO Response Force
2019 during the command post portion of the exercise in November.
Trident Juncture 18 is the largest in a series of deliberately-planned exercises scheduled over several years to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to a threat from any direction. Personnel at the headquarters of JFC Naples have started the crisis response planning phase for the upcoming exercise.
For Norway, the exercise will test the country's ability to receive and handle the additional troops and equipment. According to Bruun-Hanssen, the exercise will also be an opportunity for the Norwegian Armed Forces to test Norway's Total Defence Concept, which involves military forces and a wide range of civilian departments and authorities.
"If we are able to support NATO in reacting quickly, we will increase our ability to deter and to demonstrate that our Total Defence Concept works,” said Bruun-Hanssen. "In this regard, Trident Juncture is the finishing touch. If we do well and show that we got what it takes, it will strengthen the credibility of Norwegian defence and NATO cooperation.”
Bruun-Hanssen added the NATO Alliance is an important guarantee for the security of Norway, and he noted the aim of the Alliance is to deter any adversary from using force against any member of the Alliance.
"We hope that this exercise will demonstrate the solidarity and strength within NATO, and thus prevent that we will ever need this help in real life,” Bruun-Hanssen said.
"I think it’s very important for NATO to show that it is ready to defend and deter in any geographic part of the Alliance, whether it be in North America or over here in Europe,” said Foggo, a self-described transatlantic junkie. "We are not an offensive Alliance, we don’t go looking for a fight, but we will defend our territory and we will deter any adversary who takes action against us. So, we’re going to prove that here in October when we do Trident Juncture 18.”
To read more about Trident Juncture and Norway's involvement, click here
To learn more about "The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic", click here.