General Palomeros: NATO Troops Preparing for Maneuver Warfare

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Jean-Paul Palomeros, March 24, 2015NATO is preparing to hold its most complex military drills in decades — perhaps since the Cold War — as it readies allied troops for a range of hybrid combat scenarios that they might face in coming years.

“We need forces prepared to do their job and it appears that their job is more and more demanding,” French Air Force Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros, leader of the NATO command that coordinates alliance training, told reporters in Washington Wednesday. “In terms of intensity, this exercise is stronger than NATO has been training [for], perhaps since the end of the Cold War….”

The goal of Trident Juncture is to re-train in maneuver warfare, “which is an expertise that we have lost for the last two decades because of the nature of operations in which we were involved,” Paloméros said….

More than 36,000 NATO troops from 27 alliance member countries and seven partner nations will participate in Trident Juncture, along with more than 140 aircraft, 60 ships and submarines.

The exercises will begin in mid-October with aerial combat drills in Italy before shifting to land and amphibious combat exercises in Spain and Portugal in early November. The alliance agreed to hold this exercise at its 2012 summit in Chicago, before Russia invaded Ukraine and put NATO on high alert….

“We tried to inject the hybrid approach,” Paloméros said….

The French general, who is retiring in coming weeks after more than 40 years in the military, touted previous NATO training for allowing some alliance members to rapidly and easily coordinate with one another during the airstrike campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Image: Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Jean-Paul Palomeros, March 24, 2015 (photo: NATO)