Exercise Rapid Trident

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What is it?

Rapid Trident 2014 is an annual U.S. European Command Joint Exercise Program exercise that takes place at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine. The exercise is designed to promote regional stability and security, strengthen international military partnerships and foster trust while improving interoperability among NATO and partner nations.

This year's exercise, slated from Sept. 15-26, will include approximately 1,300 military personnel from Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and the U.S., as well as representatives from NATO. RT14 consists of a multinational field training exercise with a focus on interoperability among U.S. and NATO forces. The FTX also supports Ukraine's Annual National Program designed to achieve Ukrainian Land Forces' interoperability with NATO and Ukraine's NATO Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback Program.

Why is this important to the Army?

Ukraine, though not a NATO ally, is a key enduring partner for the U.S. and NATO that contributed forces to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Maintaining partnership with Ukraine contributes to U.S. national security interests in Europe by promoting regional cooperation and stability in an area where that stability is more tenuous than it has been in decades. Rapid Trident is crucial to those goals, as it provides partner nation forces with combined training opportunities that enhance all participating forces' ability to conduct multinational operations and reinforces bonds between the U.S. and our partners and allies.

What has the Army done?

The U.S. Army has conducted exercises in Ukraine since 1995 to meet the national and military strategic goals of Ukraine, the U.S. and all participating partner forces. This year RT14, originally scheduled for July, was postponed as Ukraine and its military dealt with upheaval in the nation's sociopolitical system and the subsequent violation of Ukrainian sovereignty when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. Despite the challenge of ongoing conflict in the eastern part of the country, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the U.S. Army, and U.S. Army Europe are committed to conducting RT14 side by side with the 13 other participating nations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Rapid Trident program improves coalition interoperability and promotes understanding and cooperation between military forces, encourages professional exchange with Partnership for Peace nations, and supports Ukraine's NATO Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback Program. Those efforts are expected to continue with future training events and exercises with Ukraine.

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