STAVANGER, Norway – NATO concluded Exercise TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1 (TRJU19-1) at ten different exercise locations across Europe, including aboard USS Mount Whitney and ESPS Castilla, on November 14, 2019.
The exercise, which ran from November 4 to 14, is the first iteration of the three-part TRIDENT JUPITER 19 Exercise Campaign, which marks the largest and most complex joint command post exercise (CPX) in NATO’s recent history.
Directed by the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway, the main goal of TRJU19-1 was to evaluate and support the certification of the Component Commands of the NATO Response Force 2020 (NRF20) and the Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) as the NATO Expanded Task Force.
German Navy Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC, and the Exercise Director, said: “This ambitious exercise demonstrated our intent, goals and ability to work together for collective defence through a fictitious scenario that spans from amphibious operations to counterterrorism to cyber threats from simulated adversaries. The exercise provided an excellent platform to test the current status and will inform our future warfighting capabilities within the NATO Response Force.”
Kaack added: “The exercise itself has been designed with tremendous attention to detail and was meticulously scripted to challenge the Training Audiences at all levels.”
Commander Joint Warfare Centre, Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack
1,800 injects to 14 Training Audiences over 10 days; plus 4,000 Intel-focused injects
TRJU19-1 involved personnel from all NATO Member Nations, partner countries Finland and Sweden, and fourteen Training Audiences at ten different exercise locations across Europe.
Sponsored by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, the exercise saw participation from more than 3,000 civilian and military staff.
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Maroon, the Chief Content for the exercise, said: “TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1 was an Early Entry Operation for the NATO Response Force at Small Joint Operation level for collective defence in an Article 5, high-intensity operation against a fictitious peer adversary contesting NATO in all-domains within its North-Eastern area of responsibility.”
Maroon added: “During this ambitious exercise, we delivered around 1,800 injects to the Training Audiences over 10 days while assessing the completion of 14 shared Training Objectives consisting of 287 supporting tasks.”
The Campaign which continues into 2020 is designed to test the different Training Audiences in all domains of warfare, addressing the whole spectrum of Small Joint Operations and Major Joint Operations Plus.
“We have seen increased interoperability and improved coordination for all participants, and through this training Alliance cohesion has been strengthened. All of this makes NATO more ready to ensure peace and security.”
NATO now more ready to ensure peace and security
As a three-level defensive exercise, TRJU19-1 tested the Alliance’s defence capabilities and interoperability and demonstrated the shared commitment between the Allies to maintaining the continued security of Europe.
U.S. Army Colonel Marcus A. Jones, JWC Programme Director 1, who oversees the two exercises of the Campaign, TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1 and 19-2, said both were a display of Alliance readiness and interoperability.
“NATO has tremendously benefited from the TRIDENT JUPITER 19 Exercise Campaign,” said Jones. “We have seen increased interoperability and improved coordination for all participants, and through this training Alliance cohesion has been strengthened. All of this makes NATO more ready to ensure peace and security.”
In 2020, under the lead of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), the NRF’s land forces will be controlled by the Eurocorps in Strasbourg, France; maritime forces by the Spanish Navy High Readiness Forces Headquarters (SP MARFOR) in Rota, Spain; and air forces by the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) at NATO’s Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) in Ramstein, Germany; with Poland providing the Special Operations Component Command.
German Army General Erhard Bühler, Commander JFCBS, who visited the JWC on November 9 and 10, to observe the exercise, noted: “TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1 is the first part of the exercise campaign that will train and certify the NRF20 package for which Joint Force Command Brunssum will be the standby command. I am pleased to return to the JWC for the second time this year to engage with Rear Admiral Kaack, observe the exercise, and meet with the Eurocorps leadership and staff, who will be certified as the land component command for NRF20.”
Bühler added: “The NATO Joint Warfare Centre worked tirelessly to build the scenario for TRIDENT JUPITER 19 with the desired effect to make NATO better through a complex operational level exercise.”
Additionally, Polish Army Major General Adam Joks, Commander Joint Force Training Centre; U.S. Army Lieutenant General J.T. Thomson, Commander Allied Land Command, as well as a military delegation from Israel paid a visit to the JWC to observe the exercise. Thomson participated in the final phases of Eurocorps Combat Readiness Evaluation for NRF20 and on November 14, he signed the formal documents declaring Eurocorps ready to assume the NRF 2020 mission.
During the exercise, JFCBS deployed in Stavanger a team of three Trusted Agents led by Estonian Army Brigadier General Artur Tiganik.
“As the interface between the JFCBS and JWC, our aim was to ensure that the exercise play provided optimised training effect for all participating units,” said Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Nils Erik Hodneland. “The JWC has delivered a very successful exercise by creating realistic operational dilemmas from strategic to tactical levels, testing the NRF20 component commands’ ability to execute Small Joint Operations across two Joint Operational Areas; a great achievement for all participants.”
Royal Marines Major General (Ret.) Roger Lane, JWC’s Senior Advisor for the exercise, said: "Managing delivery of a highly sophisticated exercise is like solving several Rubic cubes under pressure. Every decision or action has an impact on another side of the cube, whether it be in the Response Cells, Intel, Targeting, Simulation, Opposing Forces (OPFOR), MEL/MIL or media, for example, and just when you think you have coordinated a coherent and consistent outcome – solving the cube – the Training Audiences sneak up and play at the same time, so one needs to reset the cube faster and more accurately than they can change it."
TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1 wraps up with final remarks by Commander JWC
In his closing remarks, Rear Admiral Kaack commended the 900 members of the JWC-led Exercise Control (EXCON) organization. “Although the sheer size and complexity of this exercise stretched our resources to the maximum, this did not stop you from providing a remarkable training event,” said Kaack.
“If it were not for your tremendous efforts during both planning and execution, we would not have been able to create and successfully deliver this unique training opportunity.”
Kaack underlined that the exercise provided an excellent opportunity for both the different Training Audiences as well as the Alliance at large, producing successful results in areas such as air support to joint operations; prioritization and apportionment of forces in a high intensity warfighting environment, and the synchronization of battle rhythms on all three levels.
Kaack closed out TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1 by saying, “Again, thank you all very much for the support to the exercise and the Joint Warfare Centre. Mission accomplished. BRAVO ZULU!”
The NATO Response Force (NRF) comprises 40,000 troops and is a highly ready and technologically advanced, multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and special operations forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed. The operational command of the NRF alternates between Allied Joint Force Commands in Brunssum and Naples.
Subordinate to Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, the United States, the Joint Warfare Centre is the premier collective training establishment of the Alliance at the operational level.
As NATO’s full-spectrum, cross-functional operational-level training and warfare centre in the North, the JWC is committed to ensuring the operational readiness of NATO staffs and their commanders.
Photos from Exercise TRIDENT JUPITER 19-1, Stavanger, Norway, and Mount Whitney