In November, NATO will hold the largest group of exercises in the last 30 years with the participation of more than forty thousand people, General Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO said at a press conference on Wednesday following the meeting of the Allied Chiefs of Defense.
Supreme Allied Commander Europe, American General Curtis Scaparrotti said that "the alliance will show Russia its ability to protect a sovereign country," noting that maneuvers will become "a demonstration of abilities of the alliance to deter."
"Trident Juncture 18 will take place this November in Norway with 40,000 troops from 30 countries, including NATO partners. It will be the largest exercises in recent years," said General Mercier, stressing that they will outpace Trident Juncture 2015, which were NATO's largest maneuvers since the end of the Cold War.
"This exercise has air, sea and land elements, and Norway offers the possibility to train realistically in all of these domains. The cold and wet weather will pose additional challenges to our troops and will train them to operate in extreme conditions. The exercise scenario is not real. But the lessons we will learn from it are very real. The exercise will integrate many new experimental capabilities and systems as it will strengthen our military capacity," he continued.
He also promised that international observers would be invited to the maneuvers and the alliance would fully comply with international obligations regarding their conduct.