Trident Juncture 18, abbreviated TRJE18, is a NATO-led military exercise to be held in Norway in October and November 2018 with an Article 5 collective defence scenario. The exercise will be the largest of its kind in Norway since the 1980s. An expected 50,000 participants from 31 nations will take part, including 10,000 vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels. The exercise will mainly take place in central and eastern parts of Norway, and air and sea areas in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The main goal of Trident Juncture is allegedly to train the NATO Response Force and to test the alliance’s defence capability. According to the Norwegian Armed Forces, the exercise will test the country’s ability to receive and handle allied support.
During the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, the alliance decided to conduct several high-profile military exercises in the coming years. Exercise Trident Juncture was one of these exercises, and the first edition was held in Portugal and Spain in 2015. NATO also decided to conduct a second Trident Juncture, planned to be held in 2018. The Norwegian government offered to host the exercise, and NATO accepted Norway’s offer in 2015. The main part of the exercise will take place in central and eastern parts of Norway, in the counties of Trøndelag, Hedmark and Oppland. The Norwegian Armed Forces have called the exercise the largest to be held in Norway since the 1980s. It will be NATO’s largest exercise since 2002.
Trident Juncture 18 will consist of three main parts: a phase of deployment lasting from August to October, a live field exercise from 25 October to 7 November and ultimately a command post exercise from 13 to 24 November 2018. The deployment starts in August 2018, with personnel, equipment and military materiel arriving at 27 different points in Norway. From these arrival points, the materiel will be transported to the training areas by rail and road. An estimated total of 180 flights and 60 ship loads will transport all the exercise equipment to Norway. A total of 50 camps will be established in and around the exercise area. Half of these will have room for more than 500 people, the largest being able to house 5,500 people.
During the field exercise (LIVEX) from 25 October to 7 November the participants will start their training according to a scripted scenario. The land battle will take place in the area south of Trondheim and north of Rena Camp in Hedmark County. There will also be sea activity along the Norwegian Coast, the North Sea and limited areas in The Baltic Sea and Skagerrak. There will be air activity in the airspace over Norway, Sweden and Finland. The command post exercise (CPX) lasts from 14 to 23 November 2018 at NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway. This is a data simulated desk exercise to train the headquarters. This exercise is also a certification test for Allied Joint Force Command Naples.