Trident Juncture troops

Russia Threatened Missile Tests During 2018 NATO Exercise

It happened during Exercise Trident Juncture in Norway last year.

Trident Juncture troops

Troops taking part in Exercise Trident Juncture, 2018.

The Russian military sent missile test warnings to NATO troops in Norway during last year’s Exercise Trident Juncture.

Norwegian officials told Forces News that while these kinds of warnings have been received in the past, they have never been given in locations as far south before.

While no missiles were fired, Chief of Public Affairs at the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, Colonel Eynstein Kvarving, said it was what the military call 'Moscow calling'.

“I think it’s a way to be assertive, to say that they can do what they like in international waters," he said.

"They want the world to perceive them as powerful and [it was] kind of a little demonstration as a reaction to NATO exercising in Norway."

Exercise Trident Juncture was the biggest NATO exercise to take place in 25 years.

Between October and November 2018, 50,000 soldiers, 10,000 vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels from 31 NATO nations and allies were moved to Norway in order to demonstrate the alliance’s ability to respond to a crisis situation.

Head of the Norwegian Join Headquarters, Rear Admiral Sverre Engeness, told Forces News that while the exercise proved NATO was capable of deploying a major force, the planning stages need more attention to detail.

“We had battle tanks coming to Norway supposedly weighing less than 60 tonnes [but they] weighed more, which meant we couldn’t put it on a rail car," he said.

"We had to transport them by road."

Trident Juncture Credit NATO 261018
Personnel from 31 different nations took part in Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 (Picture: NATO).

The Norwegian authorities managed to mitigate those issues, but say it demonstrates the need to practise large exercises.

But their transparency during Trident Juncture appears to have boosted public trust and support of NATO.

Colonel Kvarving said it proved allies could help Norway defend itself: "The whole alliance would stand behind us and I think that’s the point of big exercises like Trident Juncture.

"You have a very big and very powerful alliance standing behind every nation."