There Are Already Casualties In NATO's Largest Military Exercise Since The Cold War

news

Tens of thousands of NATO troops have converged on Norway for Trident Juncture, the alliance's largest military exercise in nearly two decades.


The exercise officially starts on Oct. 25, but the arrival of thousands of troops and their equipment in the harsh environs of the North Atlantic and Scandinavia hasn't gone totally smoothly.

On Tuesday, four U.S. soldiers were injured in a roadway accident as they delivered cargo to Kongens Gruve, Norway, in support of the exercise.

"The accident occurred when three vehicles collided and a fourth vehicle slid off the pavement and overturned while trying to avoid the three vehicles that had collided," the U.S. Joint Information Center said, according to Reuters.

U.S. ships taking part have also encountered trouble.

The amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall, part of a group of ships carrying a Marine Corps contingent to the exercise, returned to port in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Monday after heavy seas caused damage to the ship and injuries to its sailors.

The U.S. 6th Fleet, which oversees operations in the Atlantic around Europe, said the ship's well deck and several of the landing craft aboard it were damaged. The Gunston Hall returned to port for a damage assessment, though there was no timetable for its completion, the fleet said.

The sailors who were injured received medical treatment and returned to duty.

U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit overlook a training area from a hill inland, Iceland, Oct. 19, 2018, during Exercise Trident Juncture 18.U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Joseph Atiyeh

The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York, also on hand for the exercise, also returned to Reykjavik "as a safe haven from the seas until further notice," the fleet said.

A 6th Fleet spokesman told Navy Times that the seas were challenging "but not out of the [Gunston Hall's] limits" and that the USS New York "will remain in port until it is safe to get underway."

The Gunston Hall and the New York were part of a group led by the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima that left the U.S. earlier this month, carrying some 4,000 sailors and Marines.

That group carried out a simulated air assault in Iceland last week and has been doing cold-weather training in preparation for Trident Juncture.

It's not clear if the absence of the Gunston Hall and the New York will affect the exercise, the 6th Fleet spokesman told Navy Times.

Trident Juncture will include some 50,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, and other personnel from each of NATO's 29 members as well as Sweden and Finland. The drills will be spread across Scandinavia and the waters and airspace of the Baltic Sea and the North Atlantic.

Massing men and machines for such exercises rarely goes off without problems.

In June, as some 18,000 personnel from 18 countries took part in the Saber Strike 18 exercise in Eastern Europe, four U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicles collided during a road march in southern Lithuania.

Fifteen soldiers were taken to a local hospital, 10 of whom were held for overnight observation, but all returned to duty.

Read more from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

CAMP PENDLETON — The military prosecution of a Coast Guardsman accused of murder began Wednesday with a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.

Read More Show Less

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.

Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.

Read More Show Less

President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.

It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.

The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

Read More Show Less

BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.

Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.

Read More Show Less