British Army Husky armoured vehicle, NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 18 (Crown Copyright, 2018) [880]

On the Road to Trident Juncture

British Army Underway for Massive NATO Exercise in Norway

Hundreds of British Army soldiers have arrived in the Netherlands today as part of an epic 2,500 km road move to Norway for Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s flagship exercise in 2018.

In Norway, 2,700 UK military personnel will contribute to the large-scale and complex exercise which will test NATO’s most important founding principle of collective defence in an article 5 scenario – when an attack on one is an attack on all.

With some 150 aircraft, 45,000 participants and 10,000 vehicles, this is the largest collective defence exercise NATO has conducted in over a decade.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

NATO is the bedrock of our defence where Britain plays a leading role. Whenever the call comes, the UK is foremost in stepping up to support our friends and allies across the globe. This exercise demonstrates the strength of our collective defence. Together we are ready to tackle any threat, from any direction.

Earlier this week, British Army vehicles and equipment were loaded onto Channel Tunnel trains before arriving in The Netherlands today as part of the complex logistical task of transporting a Battlegroup to Norway – a journey that includes road, rail and ferry.

Members of the Royal Logistics Corps are lending their expertise in support of the road move while in Norway soldiers from the Light Dragoons, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and supporting units will train together with NATO allies.

Update from NATO on Trident Juncture 2018

Over the next few days, the British Army will move 70 Foxhound, Husky and Landrover vehicles over 2,000 km from the Hook of Holland harbour through northern Europe to Norway. The British Army convoy’s transit through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden will test how efficiently soldiers and equipment can move between European countries. It will also test customs, border regulations and infrastructure’s ability to cope with rapid and heavy troop movements.

As British soldiers make their way through northern Europe, the German army is shipping Leopard tanks and other military vehicles onboard a civilian cargo ferry from the northern German town of Emden to Fredrikstad, Norway where they are scheduled to arrive on Thursday (11 October).

Military mobility is vital.

“Military mobility is vital, especially to reinforce in a crisis. That’s exactly why we exercise it,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “Over the past few years, NATO has made real progress in improving our ability to deploy troops quickly across Europe. We are overcoming legal hurdles and cutting red tape, including by working closely with the European Union. Looking ahead, we aim to further reduce border-crossing times (clearances within five days by the end of 2019), identify alternative supply routes, and exercise even more to practice military mobility,” she added.

Sources: UK troops deploy on largest NATO exercise in a decade; UK and German forces test military mobility en route to NATO’s biggest exercise in decades

Image: A Husky armoured vehicle drives along the motorway and heads towards the port of Harwich. Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 (TRJE) is the largest in a series of long-planned military exercises to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat, from any direction. Over 30 nations, involving 40,000 personnel are taking part in this 6 week exercise. The British Army’s 4th Infantry Brigade HQ will deploy to command UK Reconnaissance, Infantry, Combat and Logistic Support units alongside a Danish battlegroup and a Polish Mechanised Infantry Company. The main British Army units will consist of The Light Dragoons, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster Regiment and 102 and 104 Logistic Brigade. Photograph by Cpl Ben Beale (Crown Copyright, 2018).