STRIKFORNATO Behind the Scenes
On board USS Mount Whitney, North Sea – Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) is underway on board USS Mount Whitney, participating in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 from 25 October to 7 November.
During the exercise STRIKFORNATO will be one of the two maritime commands to participate with the sole responsibility of commanding US naval and amphibious forces.
Operating with a staff of more than 200 personnel on the flagship, STRIKFORNATO will command more than 20 ships, around 3,800 personnel, and around 6,000 marines ashore.
The complexity of the exercise, one of the largest in recent years, results from a long planning cycle, and now requires great coordination during the execution phase.
STRIKFORNATO permanent staff has been reinforced with experts from different commands participating in Trident Juncture and will ensure that all different domains of the exercise are fully supported.
Working alongside STRIKFORNATO on board USS Mount Whitney is Lieutenant Anna Hofmann from the German Navy. She is a staff member of the Joint Logistics Support Group (JLSG), which is working behind the scenes providing logistic support for the exercise.
The JLSG consists of 134 personnel from 24 nations and is based in Sessvollmoen, Norway. Their mission is to enable, sustain, and maintain Alliance freedom of action by coordinating logistic support and movement.
"It has been a logistical challenge over the last few months to get all assets and personnel at the right place and at the right time," said Lieutenant Anna Hofmann. "Our role began in September with the pre-deployment of supplies and equipment. During the exercise we will sustain and provide logistic support across the area of operation in Norway and on completion of the exercise our task will be to redeploy all personnel and equipment to their point of exit from Norway. My part is to act as the Liaison Officer between the JLSG and STRIKFORNATO."
Trident Juncture 18 will test NATO's ability to plan and conduct a major collective defence operation, by moving troops and equipment across the North Atlantic and Europe. It will offer the participants the unique opportunity to operate together in peacetime to ensure that NATO Allies and Partners are fully prepared in a time of crisis.