Estonia to send ten staff officers to NATO exercise in Norway

The Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) will send approximately ten staff officers to participate in Trident Juncture, the largest NATO-led military exercise since the Cold War that begins in Norway this week.

Around 50,000 troops will come together for Trident Juncture, which begins in Norway on Thursday. The EDF will send around 10 staff officers from the Estonian Navy, the Estonian Air Force, the Headquarters of the EDF and Support Command to participate in the exercise.

In Norway, NATO will be conducting the largest exercise since the Cold War, bringing together for the first snowfall some 50,000 troops in the north of the country to demonstrate to Russia the alliance’s capability to defend an ally against any adversary.

Trident Juncture will begin on Thursday and run through 7 November. Officially, the exercise will simulate the defence of a member state from a fictional adversary, however, the gigantic contingent is headed to one of Russia’s neighbouring countries merely a few months after the Vostok-18 exercise staged by Russia and China.

US Navy Adm. Jams G. Foggo III, commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples, said that the exercise is intended to demonstrate that the alliance is capable of defending against any adversary. “Not a particular country — anyone,” he stressed.

Foggo said that Norway shares a border with Russia, and the alliance’s military contingent, backed by 10,000 vehicles, 150 aircraft and 60 ships, demonstrates the ability to mobilise quickly to defend an ally under attack.

“The core exercise area is 1,000 km from the Russian border,” said Norwegian Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen, head of exercise headquarters. “There should not be any reason for the Russians to get scared or see this as anything other than a defensive exercise.”

Two Russian and two Belarusian military observers have been invited to watch the manoeuvers.

Trident Juncture will mark the largest movement of NATO’s troops and equipment since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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