November 9, 2018 – In the largest NATO-led military exercise since the end of the Cold War, over 50,000 personnel, 10,000 vehicles, 150 aircraft and 65 ships are participating in TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18 in Norway.
The exercise, which ran from October 25 until November 7, 2018, was the Canadian Armed Forces’ main joint training effort for 2018. The Canadian contingent consisted of approximately 2,000 personnel, along with maritime, land and air assets.
The Royal Canadian Navy alone sent more than 600 personnel, including HMC Ships Halifax, Ville de Québec, Summerside and Glace Bay.
TRIDENT JUNCTURE aims to demonstrate NATO’s ability to plan and conduct major joint operations. Members operate together along with partner nations, including Sweden and Finland, in a collective defence readiness scenario based on the triggering of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. Article 5 is the principle of collective defence, meaning an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all allies.
Commodore Craig Skjerpen RCN had a key leadership role in TRIDENT JUNCTURE, leading the Sea Combat Command Task Group for Joint Task Force North. The Task Group includes HMCS Halifax, HM Ships Westminster, Northumberland, HDMS Hvidbjoernen, FS Bretagne, ORP General Kazimierz Pulaski.
Cmdre Skjerpen was responsible for the conduct of the Task Group, providing guidance on movements, navigation and operations. He worked with Vice-Admiral Lisa Franchetti USN, Commander U.S. 6th Fleet, ensuring that the Task Group worked seamlessly with a Norwegian-led Task Group during the exercise.
Glace Bay and Summerside, with their embarked explosive ordinance disposal and remotely operated vehicles, provided key capabilities in clearing approaches and landing sites during the exercise.
“Ready to help, ready to lead, ready to fight is what drives us as members of the RCN. TRIDENT JUNCTURE gives us the opportunity to work seamlessly with our closest allies and partners as a unified team. It will ensure that our forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction,” said Cmdre Skjerpen.
RCN’s participation in TRIDENT JUNCTURE contributes to NATO maritime force readiness objectives by conducting a wide range of sea warfare activities, including interdiction operations, mine countermeasure operations and replenishments at sea.