Led by Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples), exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 (TRJE 14), which begins today will test NATO's ability to coordinate and execute a NATO-led Article 5 Collective Defence operation in a multinational environment.
It also serves to certify the 15th rotation of the NATO Response Force (NRF) under high-intensity, warfighting conditions.
TRJE 14 Director and Commander Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), Major General Reinhard Wolski addressed the assembled staff before the start of the exercise on 6 November.
He highlighted the critical importance of NATO exercises and training events, stressing that both activities are relevant and substantially challenging in the face of developing real-world threats.
Major General Wolski said: "The real-world developments give us the full mandate and obligation for robust exercises in the Alliance. There is no doubt that these exercises are a major part of NATO's Visible Assurance and will contribute significantly to our new readiness requirements. The Wales Summit in September has tasked the military authorities with a Readiness Action Plan, which points out to an enhanced exercise programme with an increased focus on exercising Collective Defence. And, TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14, the first NATO exercise after the Wales Summit, is a part of this endeavour."
On 6 November, British Army Lieutenant General Phil Jones CBE, Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Chief of Staff, visited the SITCEN at JWC and observed the exercise.
Exercise TRJE 14 is being conducted at various locations across Europe. Participating in this exercise are units and troops from JFC Naples in Italy; JWC in Stavanger and National Joint HQ in Bodo, Norway; French Joint Force Air Component Command in Lyon, France; Headquarters Commander Spanish Maritime Forces (HQ COMSPMARFOR) on board the LPD Castilla; Polish Special Operations Forces Command in Krakow, Poland, and HQ SHAPE in Mons, Belgium.
All in all a total of some 1,255 military and civilian personnel will participate to the exercise.
TRJE 14 aims to enhance joint and combined interoperability between NATO/Partner and national units in a federated, multinational environment integrating the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI).
It also trains those units on the principles of Collective Defence in an Article 5 high-intensity combat action, and demonstrates Visible Assurance that NATO is committed to the defence of its Member States.
The challenges presented in the fictional SKOLKAN scenario include hybrid warfare, theatre-ballistic missile defence, cyber defence and chemical, biological and radiological defence.
The exercise will be conducted from 8 to 17 November 2014.