As Exercise Trident Juncture unfolds, both on land and in the air, the maritime component continues its Combat Enhancement Training and Force Integration in close cooperation with other components.
During the first days of the exercise, Netherlands Maritime Force (NLMARFOR) and UK Maritime Force (UKMARFOR) conducted an amphibious operation at Sierra del Retin, Spain, and in Sardinia, Italy. The US Marine forces and Royal Marines are working closely together executing common tactics and procedures, thus enhancing force integration and interoperability.
US Marines were transferred by helicopter from HMS Ocean and HMS Bulwark to shore, where they conducted operations in the land domain. Canadian ships HMCS Halifax and HMCS Athabaskan, together with the Portuguese frigate NRP Vasco da Gama and Danish ship HDMS Peter Willemoes, conducted operations in the Atlantic Ocean south of Portugal, followed by a replenishment at sea serial with the Spanish tanker ESPS Cantabria.
Two Portuguese F16s and four Finnish F18s supported maritime training serials designed to test and improve cooperation amongst a maritime force confronted by an air defense threat.
As described by the Commanding officer of the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg, Commander Pascal Belhumeur:
This was a valuable anti-air warfare training opportunity that allowed us to observe the impressive aerial capabilities of our NATO allies. ‘Winnipeg’ responded effectively to all threats.
The Maritime component of the Trident Juncture 2015 exercise is comprised of over 60 warships and is operating in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Among the assets dedicated to this exercise are over 20 frigates, destroyers and corvettes, 15 mine countermeasures vessels (mainly drawn from Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One), 7 submarines, 7 landing ships with organic helicopters onboard, and over 15 auxiliary and other units from 19 contributing nations.
During the exercise, maritime units and personnel will operate from a number of locations, including Rota (ESP), Zaragoza (ESP), Pinheiro da Cruz (PRT), Sierra de Retin (ESP), Alvarez De Sotomayor (ESP), Capo Teulada (ITA), Troia (PRT) and HQ MARCOM (GBR).