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High Density of NATO Exercises

May 6, 2015 (EIRNS)—NATO is engaged in a high density of exercises and reinforcement of its Eastern European members all along the periphery and near periphery of Russia. Yesterday, Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander of US 6th Fleet and NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, announced that he and part of his command will move to Romania for 12 days in June as part of a NATO exercise.

"This deployment will be the first time a NATO Joint Force Command headquarters has deployed to Romania," he said in Bucharest. In contrast to the usual protestations to the contrary, this exercise has everything to do with the alleged Russian threat, as Ferguson made clear. "We are concerned with the deployment of advanced missile systems into Crimea by the Russians and the deployment of advanced fighter aircraft and the increase of forces there, which we think threaten the security of the Black Sea,"

Ferguson said, reported AP.

The exercise, called Trident Joust 2015, is all about moving NATO’s combat capabilities further east, following the decisions made at the Wales summit last September. Part of Ferguson’s visit to Bucharest was to oversee the establishment of NATO’s Multinational Division Southeast and the NATO Force Integration Unit, during his meetings with Romanian defense officials, including Defense Minister Mircea Dusa. The force integration unit is one of six that are being created in Eastern Europe that are "primed to establish units that will assist NATO in supporting exercises and facilitating rapid reinforcements."

During Ferguson’s visit, Dusa announced that the NATO missile defense installation under construction in Deveselu will go operational by the end of this year. Unlike Trident Joust, however, Ferguson insisted, it’s a purely defensive response to respond to attacks from the south.

Other ongoing NATO exercises include the following:

  • In the Norwegian Sea, Exercise Dynamic Mongoose is under way, involving 10 NATO members and Sweden. "The two-week exercise brings together thousands of NATO troops, and dozens of vessels, including submarines, that will practice hunting, attacking, and avoiding detection, according to news reports," reported NPR. NPR puts it squarely in the middle of the Russia-bashing campaign, noting fears that Russia will attack the Baltic states as it supposedly did in Ukraine, using indirect methods of warfare. Part of this context also includes the alleged Russian submarine incursions into Swedishw waters last October, and into Finnish waters last week.

  • n the Czech Republic, Exercise Lion Effort gets underway on May 11, an air forces exercise involving Gripen jets from Hungary, Czech Republic, and Sweden; Typhoon jets from Germany and F-16’s from Poland; and a NATO AWACS aircraft.

  • In Georgia, 14 Bradley fighting vehicles and other equipment arrived at the port of Batumi, yesterday, for a training exercise at Georgia’s Vaziani training area that will involve 600 US and German troops. This exercise is yet another step towards the de facto absorption of Georgia into NATO, even without formal NATO membership.