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Road to Exercise Trident Javelin

This November, LANDCOM will participate in NATO’s largest exercise for 2017. Exercise TRIDENT JAVELIN is a command-post, computer assisted exercise happening primarily at NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway. The exercise is unique because it will exercise LANDCOM’s ability to command and control a Major Joint Operation ‘plus’ (MJO+), which is three or more Army Corps, in a NATO Article 5 environment (Collective Defense). Joint Force Command Brunssum, LANDCOM and MARCOM are designated as primary training audiences, with SHAPE and AIRCOM designated as secondary training audiences. This will be the first time in almost 20 years that a MJO+ operation will have been exercised.

The preparation for the exercise initially started under the lead of Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in the spring of 2016. ACT is NATO’s strategic headquarters located in Norfolk, Virginia, and is responsible for transforming NATO’s military structure, capabilities and doctrine. Since that time, a core team with members from all participating Headquarters has been continuously working on the development and training objectives for TRIDENT JAVELIN.

LANDCOM individual training

In the months leading up to TRIDENT JAVELIN, LANDCOM personnel will have participated in a number of education and training opportunities in order to prepare themselves and the command for their role in the exercise. Over the last year, personnel have been trained in their crisis and conflict roles with Battle Staff Training together with Joint Force Command Brunssum. Additionally, LANDCOM conducted off-site training over more than 10 months in order to bring all critical personnel up to a common high level of knowledge and skills.

With the rate of summer personnel turnover in the headquarters, LANDCOM executed an aggressive approach to rapidly train newly arrived personnel in these tasks in order to achieve a common level of understanding prior to November. The learning curve for new personnel is always a challenge for any headquarters, and multiple training iterations over the summer helped mitigate those challenges. Summer of 2017 saw the need for the command to focus on collective training in order to build the team and prepare for the exercise.


In June, a small contingent of LANDCOM personnel deployed to Multinational Division South East (MND-SE) in Bucharest, Romania, in support of Exercise DACIAN GUARDIAN. During the exercise, the LANDCOM team served as the higher headquarters for MND-SE and was able to both assist them by serving in a higher HQ function and conduct a similar command and control function that LANDCOM will be fulfilling during Exercise TRIDENT JAVELIN. The exercise provided LANDCOM with the ability to identify best practices and lessons learned that are then carried forward throughout the summer and into November. "These types of opportunities help both higher and lower command, and I think this is definitely something we should sustain in the future as we continue to improve our ability to both serve as land advocates for the Alliance and as potential command and control headquarters for NATO land forces,” said Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Rice, LANDCOM’s Senior Enlisted Leader.


LOYAL BONUS is a LANDCOM Battle Staff training exercise integrated within a higher echelon battle rhythm. The second iteration of this exercise, LOYAL BONUS II, occurred from 2-13 October and prepared personnel who will go to TRIDENT JAVELIN in cross functional cooperation and coordination of the various battle rhythm events during the exercise.


After arriving at the Joint Warfare Center in November, personnel will conduct LOYAL LANCE, a pre-exercise that will occur just prior to the start of TRIDENT JAVELIN. LOYAL LANCE will include both LANDCOM personnel and any augmented reinforcements that are scheduled to come from various NATO member nations in order to fulfill specific roles. This exercise is the last opportunity to check systems, communications and internal procedures prior to the start of TRIDENT JAVELIN.

External preparation and training

In addition to all the training conducted by LANDCOM personnel, there is of course all the training happening by all the other participating commands. Several conferences with up to 300 participants from all NATO nations have been conducted over Europe in 2016 and 2017, in places like Brussels, London and Luxembourg, in order to synchronize the progress in the exercise development.

All participating headquarters had to go through special training including academic, key leader training, and individual training in order to increase and upgrade special skills. Additionally, collective training focused in different battle staff exercises was conducted in order to achieve their training objectives in the exercise. The different Land Corps and Divisions are integrated with common development of the CONOPs, as well as contributing to an Air-Land Integration Conference and the GRF(L) back briefs to the LANDCOM Commander.

In order to achieve exercise success from strategic to tactical level the exercise events and injects had to be developed, harmonized and synchronized between different headquarters under the lead and control of the Joint Warfare Center. NATO nations, as well as International Organizations, are additionally contributing to the exercise in order to train in a realistic, holistic scenario.

Exercise Endstate

The result of this entire process for LANDCOM is that it will be validated on its ability to conduct one of its primary missions of providing the core headquarters responsible for the conduct of NATO land operations.

A group of LANDCOM personnel conduct an exercise testing pre-deployment validation and deployment rehearsal training for the Deployable Land Element (DLE) concept. This exercise is being done in conjunction with ongoing preparations for Exercise TRIDENT JAVELIN.

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