21 soldiers from 628 Signal Troop of NATO’s 1st Signal Battalion deployed to the former Cold War bunker that forms part of the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) facility for Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2016 (TRJE16).
While the Signal Battalion headquarters is in Germany, the Royal Signals Troop are based in Blandford, England.
628 Signal Troop form one of six Deployable Communications Modules and remains the only British Army Unit, major or minor, permanently assigned to, and under operational command of NATO, in times of peace and war.
Soldiers of 628 Signal Troop are pictured below alongside their fellow Royal Signals personnel working in support of the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) who are based permanently at the Joint Warfare Centre.
Lieutenant Colonel Jason Burns, Deputy Head, CIS Branch, said: “There will no doubt be a significant amount of preparatory work rolling-out the equipment and testing it for what will be a demanding exercise. It is good to see the Troop deploy from the UK to Norway and perform like a well-oiled machine.”
He is also echoed by Commander Svein-Inge Søndergaard, the NCI Agency CIS Support Unit Commander, who emphasized in an award ceremony for the CIS troop the importance of their effort along the local CSU staff, creating a training environment far beyond the size and complexity the Training Centre was built for. “Together they have now laid the foundation for a successful exercise”, Commander Søndergaard explains.
Commander Svein-Inge Søndergaard, NCI Agency CIS Support Unit Commander (left).
SSgt Chris McKechnie who leads the 628 Signal Troop on duty in Stavanger, added: “For us, setting up the CIS for exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 16 is a sizeable, very real task and will take all our soldiers a number of weeks to complete. That said, there will be the occasional opportunity to see a little of what Norway has to offer outside of the bunker!”
Major General Andrzej Reudowicz, Commander JWC, inspecting the CIS set-up with JWC's TRJE16 planning team. Photo by Maj Stephen Olsen, JWC PAO.