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King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon participate in the NATO exercise Trident Juncture

His Majesty King Harald and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon visited the Trident Juncture 2018 military exercise. The royals visited the area around Røros, an area in Norway with mountains and plains. On arrival, the King and Crown Prince received a broad introduction to the military exercise Trident Juncture, the largest NATO exercise in Norway since the 1980s and the Cold War.

Following the briefing of the exercise, King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon travelled to Glåmos. The King and Crown Prince were shown how the military cooperates with the civil forces in a crisis. King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon met with hundreds of soldiers, such as from the Norwegian “Brigade North Artillery Battalion”.

His Majesty King Harald meet Admiral James G. Foggo III, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command, Naples at Røros and exercise Trident Juncture 2018 in Norway. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret / The Norwegian Defense Press Office.

H.R.H Crown Prince meet Admiral James G. Foggo. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret / The Norwegian Defense Press Office.

From Glåmos, the King continued to Værnes, outside Trondheim, to meet marines from the Royal Marines. The Crown Prince travelled to Tolga where he met soldiers from the Swedish Armed Forces who also participated in the military exercise. The Crown Prince actively participated in the exercise later that night. The Crown Prince followed the exercise on Tuesday after having stayed in tents with soldiers in the field this night. This was the first time the King and Crown Prince visited a NATO-military exercise together.

It was during the NATO summit in Wales in 2014 that the alliance decided to conduct several high-profile military exercises. The Norwegian government offered to host the exercise, and NATO accepted Norway’s offer in 2015. The military exercise Trident Juncture consists of more than 50,000 soldiers, 250 aircraft, 65 ships and 10,000 land vehicles from 31 nations. The military exercise mainly takes place in Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, Oppland, Hedmark and Østfold, as well as in air and sea areas in Sweden and Finland.

His Majesty King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon during their visit to the Artillery Battalion from Brigade North. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret / The Norwegian Defense Press Office.

His Majesty King Harald also visited the British Royal Marines at Værnes air station.

Trident Juncture 2018 has consisted of three main parts: a phase of deployment lasting from August to October, a live field exercise from 25 October to 7 November and ultimately a command post exercise from 13 to 24 November 2018.

The Norwegian Constitution states that “the King has the highest command over the land and sea forces of the Kingdom” and that “the King has the right to summon troops, begin a war in defence of the land and end it to gain peace”. Both the King and the Crown Prince are Generals in the Army and the Air Force, as well as Admirals in the Navy.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.