Germany Leading Largest NATO Exercises Since Cold War

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Germany  will be spearheading NATO’s “Trident Juncture” military exercises in Norway this October.

In total, Trident Juncture will include 40,000 troops, 120 aircraft, 70 ships and up to 10,000 vehicles. It is the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War, with all 29 NATO nations participating, along with partner countries Sweden and Finland.

Germany lead force will include 8,000 soldiers and 2,000 vehicles, including 200 armored combat vehicles and 20 Leopard 2 combat tanks.

NATO has staged smaller-scale rotations and exercises in Poland and in Baltic nations Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The need for NATO exercises was prompted in response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and for its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Last year, Russia’s Zapad war games in Belarus, on NATO’s eastern flank, also prompted EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to call for plans for quicker NATO mobility.

Trident Juncture is a way for NATO to test its abilities to plan major defense operations, to command and train troops on the ground, and to operate cohesively.