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Nov 15 2019

Exercise Trident Jupiter draws to a close

MONS, Belgium - Ten consecutive twelve-hour working days and a relentless, ever-increasing, battle-rhythm tempo came to an end as Exercise Trident Jupiter 2019-1 (TRJU19-1) reached completion on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.   

The NATO Response Force 2020 (NRF20) force package is now certified and, should the North Atlantic Council decide to activate it in the coming year, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum is ready to take command. The certification increases NATO’s overall military readiness and speed of relevance.

This NATO exercise is to demonstrate our resolve as an Alliance and demonstrate our cohesiveness

“Exercises such as Trident Jupiter serve to demonstrate the Alliance’s unwavering commitment to Collective Defence; willingness to continuously embrace change in order to deter emerging security threats; and, via the execution of a deliberate policy of transparency, determination to deter potential adversaries through demonstration of cutting-edge military capability that is maintained at high levels of readiness and interoperability,” General Erhard Bühler, Commander JFC Brunssum.

This exercise gathered 3000 military and civilian personnel as participants, evaluators and observers. Thirty NATO member and partner nations participated in nine different exercise locations across Europe. TRJU19-1 was a pre-planned, pre-coordinated exercise. It was not the result of any perceived security threat to NATO members. Importantly, the exercise challenged entities at all levels of military command in order to improve internal processes. In turn, this allows the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Tod D. Wolters, to deploy, when authorised, scalable joint forces to deter and, if necessary, defend against an adversary’s military aggression.

Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters delivers closing remark to leaders and staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Nov. 14, 2019, as Trident Jupiter 19-1 drew to an end. - NATO photo by SSG Ross Fernie

“This NATO exercise is to demonstrate our resolve as an Alliance and demonstrate our cohesiveness; we take a look to identify lessons learnt and use that where we need to focus for adaptation within the Alliance,” Major General, Barre Seguin, deputy Chief of Staff of Strategic Employment at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).

“This command and control complex exercise helps in a very complex security environment to demonstrate our ability to dialogue at different and various levels of command and to make decisions at a speed of relevance in real time as we received injects. We can come together as an alliance when anyone nation is in need," Seguin added.

The TRJU19 exercise campaign is the largest and most complex exercise planned and executed by the Alliance’s Joint Warfare Centre (based in Stavanger, Norway) to date. It involves two linked exercises ranging from Small Joint Operations to Major Joint Operations Plus. Both exercises are large regarding the number of forces participating, which serves to make the exercise construct bigger than ever before. The first part, TRJU19-1 (just concluded), trained the NRF20 force package at Small Joint Operations scale, and evaluated / certified the NRF20 Component Commands and Naval Striking & Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), based at Oeiras, Portugal, as a NATO Expanded Task Force to further improve military interoperability and readiness. The second part, TRJU19-2, will train participants within a Major Joint Operation Plus Command and Control construct at scale in order to evaluate and certify JFC Brunssum as a Joint Task Force HQ; TRJU19-2 will be conducted in March 2020. Both exercises are Article V, high-intensity operations against a peer adversary contesting NATO in all warfare domains.

Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters delivers closing remark to leaders and staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Nov. 14, 2019, as Trident Jupiter 19-1 drew to an end. -NATO photo by SSG Ross Fernie

“It is very complex and intensive exercise for our staff; it takes almost a year to a plan and put in place this exercise of this magnitude,” said Major General Seguin, speaking about the second part of TRJU19-2. “The gap between November and March 2020 will allow us to take a break and to identify lessons identified and lessons learnt. It is also give us an opportunity to reset and refocus on the primary audience.”

In any crisis NATO efforts will continue to include diplomatic activities as part of a wider comprehensive approach and the leveraging of international community actors to convince a potential enemy to change its course.

Story by JFC Brunssum and SHAPE Public Affairs Offices

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