Bodø is a small Norwegian town, just north of the arctic circle with approximately 51,000 inhabitants. It is also the home of NATO’s northernmost operational Air Base in Europe. From 25 October to 8 November 2018 the base is playing a significant role for Exercise Trident Juncture 18, NATO’s largest exercise in recent years.
Bodø Air Base looks back at a long and proven history in NATO. For many years the base has been home to NATO’s Quick Reaction Alert Aircraft. F-16 fighter jets of 132 Luftving are ready 24/7 to respond to unidentified aircraft in or approaching NATO airspace under NATO’s peacetime Air Policing mission. “All personnel of Bodø Air Base are proud to be a part of the great NATO Team, working together to keep our airspace secure and our Alliance strong” says Lieutenant Colonel Henning Homb, Commander of the base.
During Exercise Trident Juncture 18 Bodø Air Base is hosting the most of the participating flying Air Force assets. Seven NATO nations, France, Greece, Canada, Italy, Spain, Turkey and NATO partner nation Sweden are contributing aircraft. The French Air Force sent a detachment of Mirage 2000 jets, whilst the Greek and the Turkish Air Force are contributing a detachment of their F-16s. The Spanish as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force are both contributing F-18 fighter jets. Part of the Canadian detachment is also a CC-150 tanker aircraft, enabling the exercising fighters to endure longer during their missions. Assets of the Royal Norwegian Air Force are also participating out of Bodø: A DA-20 surveillance and intelligence aircraft, normally based at Gardermoen Air Base near Oslo is currently deployed to Bodø for the duration of the exercise. The largest detachment based at Bodø was sent by Italian Air Force. Italy contributes to Trident Juncture with Eurofighters, Tornados, a KC-767 tanker and a G-550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft. In total around 20 additional aircraft and approximately 1,000 additional personnel are hosted at Bodø Air Base during Exercise Trident Juncture.