Canada’s participation in largest NATO exercise in recent history


The significance of the Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in JOINTEX 15, the largest NATO exercise in recent history, is to shape future operations.

Canada contributed a Joint Task Force led by the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters from October 21 to November 6. The Canadian Army Brigade had various elements attached – four warships, one submarine, Canadian Special Forces, and three CC-130 Hercules aircraft. More than 1650 CAF members deployed to Portugal, Italy, and Spain to take part in TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 (TRJE 15).

The investment in JOINTEX 15 and TRJE 15 was important for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), the Canadian Army (CA), and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), as they gained valuable experience from taking leadership positions within the Alliance. They engaged in complex scenarios and problem-solving associated with working in various languages and using different equipment and procedures of the partnered nations.

During the exercise, the RCN took part in various training events including area air defence, surface warfare, over the horizon targeting engagements, mine-sweeping and anti-submarine warfare. HMCS Halifax also demonstrated its new command and control platform capabilities.

The Canadians led one of four Multinational Brigades, comprising more than 2500 soldiers, including troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the US.

For the RCAF, CC-130 Hercules aircraft and their crews conducted tactical flights and transatlantic transport and support operations. They provided air-to-air resupply to allied fighter aircraft and enabled Canadian and allied paratrooper jumps.

“I am proud of the contribution our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen have made to this historic training event,” says Lieutenant-General Steve Bowes, CJOC Commander. “Thanks to their efforts in developing our interoperability, they are improving the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to conduct successful joint and multinational operations in the future.”


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