One of Biggest Military Drills in History to Be Launched
By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Thursday, August 30
September and October 2018 will be the period of one of the biggest military drills in history. On the one hand, Russia together with China and Mongolia is planning exercises "Vostok 2018", on the another, NATO together with Norway is planning drills – “Trident Juncture 2018".
Russia is mobilizing its most significant military exercise since the Cold War, as the Kremlin says, noting the main reason is a tense international climate that is “frequently aggressive and unfriendly” toward the federation.
The exercises which start on September 11, will involve nearly 300,000 Russian troops, 1,000 aircraft, and 900 tanks, will also include units from China for the first time and it will take place near Russia’s eastern border with China and Mongolia.
The participation of China, in upcoming drills, signals a significant reshaping of military exercises that began in the Soviet era. For decades, both states were preparing their army for a possible attack on each other, but nowadays they are carrying out joint military drills.
In September 2017 in conjunction with Belarus, Russia held military drills named "Zapad" (West) in Kaliningrad. The action unnerved the Baltic States and Poland because similar drills preceded clashes in Georgia and Crimea.
After the Russian military drills in September, NATO will carry out one of the most massive military exercises in October. More than 40,000 participants from all 29 NATO members and partner nations are expected to take part in Exercise “Trident Juncture 2018”, which will be one of the most complex exercises NATO has done in the last 30 years.
The first part of The Trident Juncture 18 which is live exercises- officially begins on October 25 and ends on November 7, in and around Norway. As for the second part - a command post exercises, it will take place mainly in Naples. It will test and certify JFC Naples as the 2019 NATO Response Force command headquarters and runs November 14 -23.
The primary goal of the exercises is to test NATO’s ability to plan and conduct a major collective defense operation. It will be the largest in a series of exercises scheduled over several years to ensure that NATO forces are well-trained, to operate together and respond to a threat from any direction. One more detail that makes Trident Juncture 18 unique in the NATO system is the fact, that it is not only about a military exercise, but also a comprehensive all-dimensions practice, which will include medical services, firefighters, civilian defense, railroad, etc.
Military drills aim at demonstrating the power and defining potential allies and threats. At the same time, Russia has mobilized most massive naval deployment off the coast of Syria, since Moscow first intervened in Syria’s civil war in September 2015. As the Russian authorities say, the move was followed by threats that the West is preparing to stage a fake chemical weapons attack on Syria as a pretext for an assault on the forces of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.