San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21) completed exercise Trident Juncture 18, Nov. 7.
Trident Juncture 18 was a large-scale NATO exercise that took place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea.
New York, along with 31 allies and partner nations completed the exercise. More than 14,000 of the 40,000 participants were U.S. service members from each branch of service. Around 150 aircraft, 70 ships, and more than 10,000 vehicles were used during the exercise which served to enhance professional relationships and improve overall coordination between allies and partner militaries in the event of a crisis.
“The exercise was a tremendous success,” said Capt. Brent DeVore, commanding officer aboard New York. “Most importantly, we had the chance to work with our NATO partners. This raised the ability of NATO forces to work together effectively, swiftly and collectively -- which allows us to respond to threats from any direction. During the exercise, we conducted rehearsals in Iceland, and later supported an amphibious landing in Norway. From the initial planning, through the execution, and to the final backload of all Marines and equipment, the importance of teamwork played the most crucial role. We acted as an integrated team, knowledgeable of each other’s roles and responsibilities, which enabled us to anticipate each other’s needs through the operation - allowing it to be smoothly and promptly executed!”
New York played a special role in the exercise, conducting a simulated beach assault in the inner waterways of the Alvundfjorden Fjord in Norway. Over the span of two days, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, along with 11 assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs), 53 vehicles, and cargo weighing in excess of 1 million pounds, were sent ashore using landing craft air cushions, assigned to Assault Craft Unit 4. Once on the beach, the Marines completed field training on the Norwegian countryside before returning to the ship in Orkanger, Norway. During their time away, the Marines conducted collaborative training with their counterparts and received valuable cold weather experience.
“The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit comprised the landing force component of the overall amphibious task force,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Garaux, commander of troops. “It was an extremely successful exercise that reassured our allies and host nation that NATO forces can rapidly deploy and operate well together. The Marines conducted a 7-day live exercise that required units to maneuver, communicate, and coordinate with NATO allies and the host nation of Norway. Our ability to collectively work together in the defense of NATO improved because of Trident Juncture.”
Next, the New York participated in a war-game exercise with surface ships representing the participating nations. This involved testing each others offensive and defensive capabilities in the cold weather environment.
To wrap up the exercise, 26 nations participated in a photo exercise. The photo exercise served as not only as an opportunity for a lasting photo, but also as a sign of solidarity and strength by the NATO partners.
Trident Juncture 18 officially ended with the completion of the photo exercise. New York arrived in Orkanger, Norway the following day for a port visit.