Exercise Rapid Trident, formerly known as Peace Shield, has been conducted for 13 consecutive years with participants from the U.S. and Ukrainian ground forces. This year, Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe, the Army Reserve and National Guard—along with Soldiers from the Ukraine and 17 other European and Central Asian nations—are engaged in a combined, joint exercise with a Multinational Brigade (MNB) staff in peace enforcement operations. Using a Kosovo scenario, the training will encompass small unit tactical training up to brigade-level staff exercises with a focus on enhancing interoperability among all participants and nations.
Participating Soldiers from the Ukraine and the 1st Squadron, 18th Cavalry Regiment, California Army National Guard, are scheduled to conduct rotations as members of the NATO KFOR Multi-National Task Force East in the near future, making the training both timely and relevant.
Rapid Trident is only one of the exercises conducted under the framework of the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Each year the U.S. Army supports multiple PfP exercises. The purpose of the PfP program is to increase stability, diminish threats to peace and build strengthened security relationships between individual partner countries and NATO, as well as among partner nations. Twenty-four nations currently participate in the PfP program. U.S. military support for the PfP program aids the Ukraine and other nations aspiring for full NATO membership by assisting their militaries’ transformation into professional, modern military forces.
The nations in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility provide close to 87 percent of the coalition Soldiers in Afghanistan and 87 percent of the Soldiers in Iraq. Exercises such as Rapid Trident are vital to enhancing interoperability between the U.S. Army and other coalition nations. Additionally, participants in these exercises gain valuable experience working with Soldiers of other nations in peacetime which provides useful lessons applicable to the asymmetric battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tags: Army National Guard, California National Guard, Exercise Rapid Trident, KFOR, MNB, Multinational Brigade, NATO, Partnership for Peace, Peace Shield, Peacekeeping, PfP, Rapid Trident, Ukraine, US Army