Over 40,000 people will be involved in the upcoming “Exercise Trident Juncture 2018” this year. The purpose of the event will be to bolster defense efforts against “any threat, from any direction, at any time,” said Navy Adm. James G. Foggo III. The announcement was made in Brussels at the NATO headquarters, and the exercise will span from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7. Norway will be the host nation.

Over 30 Allied nations will be involved in the NATO exercise, though NATO itself only has 29 member states. NATO nations in particular are bound to one another — their Article 5 states that an attack on one country is an attack on the rest. Article 5 was invoked after the terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11, which spawned immediate action from 13 NATO nations (the first use of Article 5 in NATO’s history). Bolstering readiness and response in the spirit of Article 5 is the primary goal of this exercise.

Exercise Trident Juncture 18 will employ military units in the air, on the water and on the ground. Prior to the official start date, some naval exercises will be conducted off the coast of Iceland in mid-October.

This operation will test and increase tactical skills on both an individual and a mass level, and in an unforgiving environment. “Statistically, there will be rain and/or snow and wind. And, there actually might be a lot of it,” said Norwegian navy Vice Adm. Ketil Olsen.

The training event will also test the logistics of such a massive operation. It’s one thing to coordinate multiple branches within the same military to accomplish a goal, but it’s another thing entirely to coordinate and command militiaries from multiple nations. Honing the logistical skills necessary to effectively command and control these massive elements will be crucial when/if Article 5 is to be invoked again in the future.

Adm. Foggo said that,

NATO is a defensive Alliance. We’re not looking for a fight, but we are committed to defense and deterrence. That’s what this exercise is all about: training to defend, and providing a deterrent effect, ready to respond to any threat from any direction at any time.”

NATO Deputy Spokesperson Piers Cazalet said,