October 22, 2018 – Royal Navy warships are making their way to Norway for one of NATO’s biggest exercises in recent years.
Type 23 frigates HMS Northumberland and Westminster were joining minehunters Cattistock, Hurworth, Grimsby and Ramsey, along with survey ship Enterprise and a fleet diving unit, for Trident Juncture 18.
X-Ray Company from 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, are also embedded in the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima.
Around 150 aircraft, including a Merlin Mk2 from 814 NAS aboard Northumberland, 65 vessels and up to 10,000 vehicles are taking part in the exercise, which is centered around central and eastern Norway, the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Norway.
If all the participating vehicles were placed in a line they would form a continuous link of 92km (57 miles).
Admiral James G Foggo, commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples, is overseeing the exercise, which involves more than 40,000 personnel from all 29 NATO countries plus Finland and Sweden.
The largest military exercise in Norway since the 1980s, Trident Juncture 18 aims to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together, and ready to respond to any threat.
The exercise, which takes place over 12 days, will see more than 1.8 million meals served, 4.6 million bottles of water consumed, and 660 tonnes of laundry dealt with.
NATO and the Norwegian Armed Forces have signed contracts with Norwegian businesses worth nearly £1.75m.