Conferences, dynamic and static aircraft display mark the start of the live stage of the largest NATO exercise.

NATO Triden Juncture Trapani
NATO Trident Juncture opening ceremony

Oct. 19, Trapani, Italy - Trident Juncture 2015 (TJ15), NATO’s biggest and most ambitious exercise since 2002, is about to move into its ‘Live’ phase. Following the official opening ceremony held at the Italian Air Force Base, Trapani, today the traffic light switched to "green" and final preparations are well underway for the live exercise (LIVEX) that will start 21 October and complete 06 November. Now, after the computer-assisted phase, which ended 16 October, the combat vehicles roll out; the jets, tankers and transporters of the Air Forces get airborne; and the participating ships adopt an operational posture in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Approximately 36,000 soldiers from NATO member states and Partner nations will take part in the TJ15 LIVEX. Many international military and civilian VIPs travelled to Trapani for the opening ceremony including: Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, and Italy’s Undersecretary for Defense, Gioacchino Alfano. 

The attendance of more than 150 media representatives from all over the world served to demonstrate the immense interest this exercise has generated. “With this exercise NATO underscores its readiness and flexibility to respond to any threat from any direction,” Ambassador Vershbow said. Undersecretary of Defense Alfano stressed the purely defensive posture and transparency of the Alliance. Other high-level representatives during the ceremony and the subsequent press conference included: the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel; the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip M. Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, General Denis Mercier; the Italian Chief of Defence, General Claudio Graziano; and the Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Hans-Lothar Domröse. 

More than 160 aircraft, comprising F-16s, F-18s, Eurofighters, Tornados and Mirage 2000 jets operating from Beja in Portugal, Albacete in Spain, Trapani in Italy, and other bases in these countries will take part. Various tanker aircraft e.g. from Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and the United States as well as transport aircraft from Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine together with Early Warning aircraft of NATO and the United Kingdom and a myriad of other air assets will take part in this ambitious exercise. 

NATO’s Allied Air Command at Ramstein, Germany, has been planning and is now about to execute the Air contribution to TJ15. Air operations are controlled by the Italian Joint Force Air Component at Poggio Renatico in northern Italy. The whole range of Allied air operations will be trained in the next two weeks including close air support, reconnaissance, paratrooper jumps. One major focus will be on the cooperation and interoperability of air forces with the land, maritime and special forces from more than 30 Allies and Partners.

Source: NATO
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