ZAROGOZA, Spain - As NATO's largest and most ambitious Exercise in 13 years is about to come to a close, a live military demonstration of Allied forces working together once again shows that NATO is able to meet any threat during Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, taking place in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Gathered at the San Gregorio Military Training Area in Spain, General Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, alongside the NATO Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Chairman of the Military Committee, with the Portuguese Minister of National Defence, Ambassadors from the North Atlantic Council and other senior Allied military commanders watched NATO forces conduct a well coordinated land and air assault on the village of Casas Altas held by enemy forces.
Achieving interoperable forces is one of the core objectives of Exercise Trident Juncture 2015. Interoperability between air, land, maritime and special forces' assets, between NATO nations and those partner nations that are participating in the exercise including many elements of the 2016 NATO Response Force and the Very High Readiness Joint Task (spearhead) Force is key to collective Alliance success. "Interoperability is at the heart of Trident Juncture 15. We do not know where or when we will have to deploy in operations, we don't even know who we will be fighting against; but this large-scale exercise helps us define how we should prepare, train and transform the Alliance so that we can continue to enhance how we operate together" said General Mercier.
The fast-paced and perfectly synchronized attack included various units from thirteen different nations and featured large-scale movement of mechanized and light infantry soldiers, special forces insertions backed up by reconnaissance and combat engineer elements, attack and tactical transport helicopters, tanks, artillery support fire, an air Medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) mission, fighter jets and a massive parachute drop of 550 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Mr. Stoltenberg said that from what he witnessed in the field and in the air, "NATO is up to the test." He also added that "while our aim is to train and exercise, we are also sending a clear message, to our nations and to any potential adversary. NATO does not seek confrontation, but we stand ready to defend all Allies."
Over the last three weeks of live tactical training, NATO personnel from all services including special forces; with soldiers, sailors, airmen and women from several Partner Nations trained and fought together as part of Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, testing Allied forces' abilities and capability to meet a wide range of potential security threats coming from any direction.
More than 36,000 personnel from 36 nations are participating in Exercise Trident Juncture 2015. The exercise also includes more than 230 units, about 145 aircraft and more than 65 ships including submarines.
Trident Juncture photos