Trident Juncture – Largest NATO-US Show of Force in Decades
Trident Juncture is a joint military exercise…and though the US refuses to say that it is aimed at Russia, Russia thinks it’s a problem. There will be 14,000 US Troops which will be added to NATO troops to make 50,000 total participants from all 29 NATO countries plus Finland and Sweden.
It’s the largest military exercise since the cold war: 65 ships, 150 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles. Russia is not happy.
“All this talk from NATO about Russia not being the target of Trident Juncture doesn’t hold water. Even if NATO says otherwise, Trident Juncture is really preparation for a large-scale armed conflict in regions bordering with the Russian Federation.” Lt. Gen. Valery Zaparenko, former Russian deputy Chief of Staff
Secretary of Defense James Mattis disagreed by saying that it would be a “mischaracterization to put [Trident Juncture] in any kind of offensive or destabilizing sort of context.”
In all the back and forth comes John Bolton, who met with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, according to ABC. Russia is nervous about the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
Trident Juncture has raised tensions even higher. The exercise is not taking place near the Russian Federation, but Russia has openly announced their intent to expand their abilities in the Arctic regions.
Gina Harkins at Military.com reported,
On Friday, ships from Carrier Strike Group Eight — including the carrier Harry S. Truman — pushed beyond the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian Sea. It was the first time in nearly three decades that a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier sailed beyond the Arctic Circle, giving the crew a chance to deal with freezing temperatures, fierce winds and unpredictable winds.
Despite the arduous weather and sea conditions, these men and women are demonstrating this ship can bring a full spectrum of capabilities to bear anywhere in the world,” Capt. Nick Dienna, the Truman’s commanding officer, said in a Navy news release.
Two days before the carrier moved past the Arctic Circle, members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit carried out a mock air assault on a base in southwest Iceland. About 100 members of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines were flown in from ships with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. They set up security for the landing zone, seized a military objective and then went on to conduct cold-weather training there.
Featured photo: U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit hike to a cold-weather training site inland, Iceland, Oct. 19, 2018, during Exercise Trident Juncture 18. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Menelik Collins)