Forty-one Bulgarian military personnel are taking part in Nato’s exercise Trident Juncture 2018, the main phase of which begins in Norway on October 25.
The exercise is the largest of its type since the Cold War, involving more than 50 000 troops.
The Bulgarian military taking part in Trident Juncture 2018 include a movement control group, radiation and chemical detection platoon, an unexploded munitions squad and a civil-military co-operation group, according to a statement by the country’s Land Forces.
Bulgaria has also sent two officers, from the Land Forces and the Joint Forces Command, one as a senior national representative and the other will be in the national support element structure.
The movement control group is part of the Joint Force Command, in the US Army 39th Movement Control Battalion, while the radiation and chemical detection platoon and the civil-military co-operation group are attached to the Canadian multinational brigade.
Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told an October 24 briefing that Trident Juncture will include about 65 ships, 250 aircraft, 10 000 vehicles and 50 000 personnel from across the Alliance. All 29 Allies are participating, as well as Nato partners Finland and Sweden.
“This is a strong display of our capabilities and of our resolve to work together,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg outlined the scenario of the exercise, which will test Nato’s ability to restore the sovereignty of an Ally after an act of armed aggression. The exercise will also test and certify the Nato Response Force for 2019.
“Trident Juncture sends a clear message, to our nations and to any potential adversary: Nato does not seek confrontation, but we stand ready to defend all Allies against any threat,” he said.
Stoltenberg said that exercise Trident Juncture is a huge logistical undertaking.
Since August, about 180 flights, 60 ships of equipment and personnel have arrived at 27 different locations across Norway, from as far away as California.
“Today, all our forces and equipment are in place – from the largest ship, to the smallest drone,” Stoltenberg said.
He said that moving troops and equipment on such a scale is a multinational effort.
Stoltenberg highlighted that an important part of Trident Juncture will take place at sea, and Admiral James Foggo will command the whole exercise from aboard the USS Mount Whitney.
“Nato is committed to securing the Atlantic and Trident Juncture demonstrates the enduring strength of the transatlantic bond,” Stoltenberg said.
Thousands of forces from the US and Canada will take part in the exercise, deploying some of their most capable assets, including the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.
Addressing the issue of transparency, Stoltenberg said that all members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have been invited to send observers to Trident Juncture. “I welcome that Russia, as well as Belarus have accepted the invitation,” he said.
Stoltenberg said that Nato also briefed Russia on the exercise in the Nato-Russia Council earlier this year.