Royal Navy Marines beach landing using Landing Platform Dock ships and Viking armoured vehicles from Assault Ship HMS Bulwark, NATO Exercise Trident Juncture (Crown Copyright, 2015)

Ex Trident Juncture Information War

Dstl Experts Tested NATO’s Strategic Communications During Norwegian Exercise

Specialists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) tested NATO’s strategic communications during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, according to a statement released January 17.

Ex Trident Juncture 18 was the biggest NATO exercise since 2015, with around 50,000 troops deployed to Norway and Iceland for the three-month-long training. Dstl spent five weeks on the exercise.

Dstl worked with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, the Joint Warfare Centre and Supreme Allied Command Transformation to deliver an assessment of the tools NATO used for public engagement around the exercise. Results revealed better public engagement, as well as the development of a framework which will allow NATO to achieve the ‘information advantage.’

Winning the Information War

A strategic communications specialist from Dstl said: “This is about winning the information war, as well as the frontline one. We need to combine what we know about both elements to be successful. Online media has changed the way we do business in this area.”

According to Dstl, “We provided evidence which changed the way NATO did business in terms of their external communications for that exercise, and for future processes. In five weeks we were able to identify, analyse and assess, and then advise NATO communicators on how to use online media to their best advantage. The impact was huge; we effected significant change in terms of cut-through of positive messaging about NATO.”

The work involved tracking hashtags and sentiment, monitoring the information environment and advising NATO on how to gain traction and impact with its online presence. Analysis of external media was also tracked, alongside NATO’s own communications about the exercise.

Information Fusion Cell Director Commends Dstl

The Information Fusion Cell director from Joint Force Command Naples called the strat comms experts “inspirational ambassadors for Dstl,” adding that they “are greatly valued at Joint Force Command Naples.”

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) ensures that innovative science and technology contribute to the defence and security of the UK. Based at Porton Down, Salisbury, Dstl supplies specialist services to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government. 60% of the MOD’s science and technology programme (total funding: £410 million) is supplied by Dstl’s external partners in industry and academia worldwide.

Dstl is an executive agency sponsored by the MOD.

Source: Dstl

Image: Royal Marines make a beach landing using Landing Platform Dock ships and Viking armoured vehicles from Assault Ship HMS Bulwark, during NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 15 (Crown Copyright, 2015).