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Gen. Phil Breedlove (left), Supreme Allied Commander Europe, visits with allied troops after the opening ceremony at Trapani Air Base, Italy, Oct. 19, 2015. Trapani is one of several locations that Air Forces will be conducting tactical level training involving more than 140 aircraft from the Alliance and Partner nations during Exercise Trident Juncture. NATO photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Danielle Brandt.
20 OCT 2015
TRAPANI, Italy – Trident Juncture 2015 kicked off the three-week military exercise spanning across Italy, Spain and Portugal on Monday during an opening ceremony at Trapani Air Force Base, Italy.
“Today’s activities demonstrate just one part of Trident Juncture 2015 where more than 30 nations and approximately 36,000 troops are participating – demonstrating that we can deploy high-readiness forces from across the alliance in a matter of days,” said Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe (SACEUR). “These multinational forces from Air, Land, Sea and Special Operations are highly interoperable and have proven capable of conducting complex military manoeuvres across the spectrum of operations.”
Trident Juncture 2015, the biggest and most ambitious NATO exercise in more than a decade, is aimed at enhancing the readiness and flexibility of the Alliance in order to respond to threats from any direction. The exercise will certify the NATO Response Force (NRF) Headquarters for 2016 and test the functions of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) ahead of it becoming fully operational next year. Additionally, it will also train and evaluate Joint Force Command Brunssum’s (JFCB) command and control of the NATO Response Force 2016.
“Our Very High Readiness Joint Task Force coupled with a more ready and responsive NRF and facilitated by our NATO Force Integration Units send a very clear message to any potential aggressor: “any attempt to violate the sovereignty of one NATO nation will result in a decisive military engagement with all 28 allied nations,” said Gen. Breedlove. “Our focus in NATO is that our measures remain defensive, proportional and appropriate. But what we also make clear is that NATO’s commitment to collective defence is rock solid.
”As part of the opening ceremony, several distinguished guests were in attendance to mark the occasion, to include NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, the Italian Undersecretary of State for Defence, Gioacchino Alfano, Ambassadors from the North Atlantic Council, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Gen. Petr Pavel, and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Denis Mercier.
Trident Juncture 2015 will continue until November 6.
L. J. De Rothschild