Canadian troops participating in NATO’s largest exercise in recent years

News release

October 25, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contingent of approximately 2000 personnel are currently in Northern Europe to participate in Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, NATO’s largest exercise in recent years. From 25 October to 7 November 2018, more than 50,000 troops from 31 NATO and partner countries will train together to demonstrate that NATO forces are ready to counter any threat.

The CAF ran a three-year joint training program in preparation for Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, the CAF’s main joint training effort. The live portion of this NATO exercise will take place from 1 - 7 November. Personnel and resources from the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and supporting elements, will operate together with NATO Allies and partner nations in a collective defence readiness scenario based on the triggering of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty (Principle of Collective Defence), meaning an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.


“Canada’s participation in Exercise Trident Juncture is a demonstration of our unwavering commitment to NATO and the principle of collective defence, as well as maintaining strong relationships with our Allies and partners. This large-scale NATO exercise is about ensuring NATO forces are trained and ready to respond to threats against the Alliance.”

— The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Exercise Trident Juncture will demonstrate our solidarity with the NATO Alliance and provide an opportunity for our troops to further develop their skills and enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to operate jointly and with our Allies. Our presence will be robust and will signal the importance of this exercise to our military operations abroad.”

— Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command

Quick facts

  • During Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) troops, along with other Allied and partner nations, will operate under Joint Task Force Norway to exercise the deployment and employment of a Joint Task Force, at a multinational level, with an aim to improve national command and control of multi-national joint force operations within a NATO context. 

  • The CAF contribution for Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 includes:

    • Approximately 70 personnel will form the National Command Element (NCE). The NCE’s responsibility is to support Joint Task Force Norway and the Canadian National Commander while ensuring that the Canadian Armed Forces units and formations have the necessary support and resources to operate effectively.
    • The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is sending more than 600 personnel including two frigates; Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship’s (HMCS) Halifax and Ville de Québec along with two Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels; HMCS Summerside and Glace Bay. The RCN will contribute to the NATO maritime force readiness objectives by conducting a series of activities across the wide range of sea warfare, including interdiction operations, mine countermeasure operations and replenishment.
    • The Canadian Army is deploying approximately 1000 personnel from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG), consisting of a light infantry Battalion and a Brigade Headquarters. The 5 CMBG Brigade Group will act as a multinational Brigade to exercise operational readiness and to bolster its collective training and interoperability with NATO Allies and partners.
    • The Royal Canadian Air Force will provide a force of more than 270 personnel. The RCAF will provide eight fighter aircraft (CF-188 Hornet), two maritime patrol aircraft (CP-140 Aurora) and one refueller aircraft (CC-150 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Polaris). In conjunction with Allies and partner nations, Canada’s air power contributions will confirm its expeditionary readiness to meet Canada’s Air Force commitment to NATO.
    • More than 165 troops will form the Joint Task Force Support Component (JTFSC). The JTFSC will provide a wide range of operational and tactical support including administration, accommodations, medical, and communications services. JTFSC is integral to the deployment, sustainment and redeployment of the CAF back to Canada. They are the first to arrive and the last to leave.

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Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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