About 50,000 NATO personnel from 31 NATO and partner countries are have come to Norway to join Trident Juncture exercise starting on Thursday.
The exercise is NATO’s largest drills since the end of the Cold War. The massive exercise takes place in and around Norway and involves about 65 ships, 250 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles.
Talking to VOA, NATO’s Command Senior Enlisted Leader for Allied Command Operations, Command Sgt. Maj. Davor Petek said that the large-scaled defensive games send a “very simple message.”
– We are ready, and we are capable to meet any possible security threat coming to our NATO borders,” he said. “Nobody’s willing to mess with an alliance that has so much potential, so much capability, said he to VOA.
NATO said the exercise is not an act of aggression, and the exercise’s commander said the alliance has invited Russia to observe.
The exercise comes with Russia and the West still bitterly divided over Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, with some NATO countries worried Moscow may try to encroach on their sovereign land.