35,000 Soldiers Participate In Norway's Biggest War Drill Since The Cold War

This fall, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be leading the most significant military exercise across the entire country of Norway since the Cold War. Initial reports from Verdens Gang, indicate about 35,000 military personnel from 30 different countries are expected to attend the Trident Juncture NATO drill.

Portuguese troops penetrate land in Troia, about 100 kilometers south of Lisbon, in Nov 2015. This was the last time NATO conducted the Trident Juncture exercise. (Steven Governo / AP)

“This will be a very big and important exercise that will affect many,” said Frank Sølvsberg, spokesperson for Trident Juncture, the NATO exercise is scheduled for October 25 through November 7.

“With several months left for the exercise, all the numbers are still highly uncertain, but it starts to take a picture,” he added.

Verdens Gang provides a map detailing plans for the upcoming military exercise.

“Norway is a small country, just like Sweden, and dependent on other states in the event of a major war. This means that one must practice receiving large numbers of troops from other countries. In Norway, there is also a huge amount of ammunition and equipment for the American Navy Corps, “said Mike Winnerstig, a security analyst at the Total Defense Research Institute (FOI).

NATO Trident Juncture Bigger Than Ordinary Military Exercises. (Sputnik 2015)

While the Trident Juncture exercise itself, whose mission is to demonstrate an increased level of cooperation in joint modern warfare and forward-leading alliance equipped with the appropriate capability and capacity to deter present and future security challenges of mainly Russia, is expected to host 35,000 troops from 30 nations and a variety of war machines. The preliminary numbers show around 130 military aircraft, and 60 warships will participate in the drill.

Verdens Gang confirms over a hundred municipalities across the country will be “affected directly or indirectly” with nonmilitary and military traffic.

“It is not finally quantified how many municipalities are affected directly or indirectly, but more than 100 municipalities can be the place of practice on the ground and/or military traffic,” said Sølvsberg.

Sølvsberg tells Verdens Gang that “Hedmark, Oppland, Trøndelag and Møre og Romsdal are the counties” where the main parts of the exercises will be held.

“In addition, Østfold, Akershus and Oslo will notice the exercise, especially traffic,” says Sølvsberg.

Sølvsberg states that Trident Juncture is three times larger than any other prior military drill conducted in Norway.

“It sets even higher demands for good planning, where we and NATO speak with affected bodies and the rest of the total defense. NATO has already been on several inspections in Norway”, he said.  

According to Admiral James G. Foggo, III, United States Navy admiral who currently serves as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, the exercise is planned every three years.

“It’s an amazing training opportunity for all involved parties. I think it also sends a clear message to others who will threaten the alliance.”

In case you are wondering what the exercise could look like, here is a snapshot of Trident Juncture 2015: