October 17, 2018 (Google Translation) – An increasing number of Dutch military personnel are moving to Norway for the Trident Juncture exercise. This afternoon HNLMS Johan de Witt from the naval port in Den Helder. The amphibious transport ship takes hundreds of soldiers and dozens of vehicles to the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War.
Dutch participates with 2,200 soldiers, 4 ships, 2 helicopters, a tanker plane and hundreds of combat and supporting vehicles.
NATO exercises defense territory
Exercise Trident Juncture is one that makes an impression. This year, 50,000 participants from over 30 NATO countries and partners participate. NATO is testing the deployment of its rapid reaction force, the NATO Response Force (NRF). In the fictional scenario, they practice the defense against an attack on NATO territory. The alliance gives a clear message: an attack on 1 is an attack on all.
On board Johan de Witt
The Dutch commander Huub Hulsker leads from the Johan de Witt a large international fleet with his maritime battle staff. With this staff he introduces the amphibious task group of 3 ships, as well as the 2 permanent NATO fleet connections. It involves a total of 17 ships.
The amphibious task force carries out an attack on the land from the sea with smaller vessels and crawler vehicles. This happens from Zr. Ms. Johan de Witt with a Finnish infantry unit and British, French and Dutch marines, who were embarked on the naval ship. A Cougar transport helicopter is ready on the helicopter deck. This can for example bring marines to land or carry out reconnaissance flights.
More than 16 low-loaders have already departed from the Netherlands. They transport the arrived equipment from NATO units to the training locations in Norway. On Friday, 2 trains in Steenwijk were loaded with, among others, CV90 combat vehicles. Other equipment departs from the Eemshaven in the coming days. A large proportion of the military flies from Eindhoven Air Base and from Schiphol.
The troops must be present on October 25 when the main maneuvers of the exercise begin.