Canada’s “Significant contribution” to Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018

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Article / October 31, 2018

By Ashley Materi, 3rd Canadian Division Public Affairs

From October 25 to November 7, approximately 2000 Canadian personnel will deploy to Norway with various land, air and sea assets to participate in exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18.

This exercise involves all NATO allies, as well as partners Finland and Sweden, and aims to move and support approximately 50,000 personnel, 10,000 ground vehicles, 250 aircraft and 60 ships in a simulated defence of Norway against an invading adversary.

On both the tactical and operational level, the field exercise will facilitate for testing interoperability and training cooperation between Allies in a high intensity warfighting scenario,” said Admiral James G. Foggo, Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 9. 

Under Admiral Foggo’s command, this exercise presents an Article 5 (collective defence) scenario to test how well NATO nations can work together to defend an ally in the face of a threat. An exercise of this magnitude has a natural deterrent effect, demonstrating to the world that NATO stands together and is ready to respond when called upon.

The massive movement of equipment and personnel requires detailed logistical planning, and presents unique challenges. Admiral Foggo explained that this exercise exhibits a heavy logistics capability that lends to the 30-30-30-30 readiness plan set forth during the NATO Summit in July 2018. This plan requires NATO to have 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons and 30 ships ready to deploy within 30 days of being put on alert.

Important training for Canadian Armed Forces

Lieutenant-General Christian Juneau, Deputy Commander of JFC Naples, will oversee the exercise from the Joint Warfare Centre is in Stavanger, Norway. As a Canadian, LGen Juneau said that he understands what it’s like to operate in the harsh weather conditions of a northern country at that time of year. Operating in cold, snowy conditions tests the ability of the Alliance to operate in adverse weather and difficult terrain.

The value for participating Canadian Armed Forces members, LGen Juneau said, will be managing the challenging logistics of moving large contingents of people and equipment between North America and Europe. He explained that “strategic trans-Atlantic deployment” is an important training endeavour for the Canadian military, as it ensures that they can deploy quickly and efficiently when necessary to help European allies.

LGen Juneau added that Canada’s “significant contribution” to the exercise is something he is excited about, and demonstrates Canada’s commitment to the organization. After the NATO Summit held in Brussels this past July, the issue of burden-sharing and fair contributions from all allies has been on the forefront. In an interview on October 3 at NATO headquarters, Canadian National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said that Canada continues to prove its commitment to a NATO through a multitude of actions. This includes returning to the Airborne Warning and Control System program, leading a NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia, taking on a leadership role for the NATO training mission in Iraq, air policing, and having a fully funded defence policy for the next 20 years.  

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