One of NATO's key goals is to increase its level of exercising. In February 2015, NATO accepted Norway's offer to host Trident Juncture 2018. This will be a major, high-visibility exercise in the Alliance's northernmost area. As NATO's military action in Afghanistan winds down, it is important for the Alliance to keep up its military cooperation, and continue integrating the skills and the experience it gained during many years of joint ISAF operations in Afghanistan.
To achieve this, NATO has initiated a new high-visibility exercise called Trident Juncture, held every third year. It is one of the largest exercises in the Alliance.
The first Trident Juncture exercise took place in Portugal, Spain and Italy from 3 October to 6 November 2015. Around 40,000 soldiers and other personnel from over 30 nations took part in the exercise. The next Trident Juncture will be held in central Norway in 2018 and is expected to be of the same size. Norway has a long tradition of hosting major allied and multinational military exercises. Among them is Cold Response.
Trident Juncture 2018 will consist of a live exercise in October and November and a Command Post Exercise in November 2018.