Trident, what? Why the name Trident Juncture?

You have heard about NATO's exercise Trident Juncture. But how did NATO come up with the name?

Text: Anders Fjellestad, Norwegian Armed Forces   Photo: Hille Hillinga, NATO


These days, the largest military alliance in the world is exercising in Norway. To be able to defend its entire territory, NATO needs to exercise in demanding terrain and climate – including Norway. 

So, we get why NATO is training in Norway. But the name "Trident Juncture" might not be as self-explanatory. What does NATO actually mean by "Trident Juncture"?

We hate to break it to you: There is no simple explanation. But there is a short and a long answer.

The short answer

A trident is a three-pronged spear, normally used for spear fishing. You know the one Neptune and Poseidon, Gods of the seas, are holding. 

And juncture is a word describing a specific time or place where things join or come together. 

So – according to its name, exercise Trident Juncture can be understood as a place where three parallel units meet or join.

The long answer

Still not satisfied? How exactly did NATO come up with the name, what does the Alliance mean by a place where three units join?

The boring answer: There might not be any specific reason to it.

The trident was the hallmark of SACLANT, closed in 2003. Copyright: NATO

Since Trident Juncture is a NATO exercise, NATO has come up with the name. And the Alliance has strict rules when naming exercises:

• All exercise names must consist of two words.

• The first letter in each word indicates what type of exercise it is, who is participating and what to exercise.

• The T in trident indicates that NATO's Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is in charge of the exercise. The trident was also the logo of ACT's predecessor, SACLANT, closed in 2003.

• The J in juncture tells us that the exercise is joint – which means that it includes all the military branches. Each of the three tines in the trident can thus represent land forces, naval forces and air forces. But why NATO chose the word juncture instead of an other word starting with J, is probably just coincidental.

So, now you know a little more about something you did not know you were wondering about. Find out more about exercise Trident Juncture by clicking the link below:

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en_228_whatdoesthenametrideen_40_natoexercise2018/en/exercise-and-operations/exercises/nato-exercise-2018/media/PubImages/tknl14R6638.jpgTrident Juncture 1850,000 participants, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels from more than 30 nations – this is NATO's exercise Trident Juncture 18.en_228_whatdoesthenametridehttp://forsvaret.no/en/Lists/RelatedPages/DispForm.aspx?ID=117

Published 02 November 2018 10:05.. Last updated 05 November 2018 21:36.