Trident Juncture 2018, which spanned all of Scandinavia and Iceland, was the largest NATO war-game exercise since the Cold War, involving about 50,000 troops from 31 countries. The drills, however, seemed to have left a questionable mark in history due to foreign soldiers’ conduct.
What! No Beer?
A number of downtown bars ran out of the alcoholic beverage, with American sailors and Marines pub crawling in a bid to satiate their thirst, Iceland Magazine reported.
Some breweries were even forced to send out emergency supplies to the bars: it turned out that foreign soldiers preferred local beers over imports and were craving to sample microbrews as well as the more popular standard lager.
True or Poo?
A total of 442 complaints have been filed with the Norwegian Armed Forces during the NATO drills, with many drawing attention to the fact that foreign soldiers didn’t hesitate to do a number two near public places, such as kindergartens, schools and sports facilities, national broadcaster NRK reported.
And while most of the complaints came from famers whose plots and pastures appeared to have been damaged by armoured vehicles and piles of human waste, others fulminated against the unsanitary conditions left by NATO troops.
“This is terrible; it’s about having common decency. We have to clean up after soldiers who have relieved themselves. It’s literally a sh**ty job,” Major Marianne Bø, responsible for damages and environmental protection during the drills, was cited as saying by NRK.
Trident Juncture spokesman Eystein Malkenes Kvarving apologised for unplanned “unfortunate things.”
NATO Soldiers Apprehend Autistic Man
It seems that ‘unfortunate things’ happened all through the war games: shortly before the exercise came to an end, NATO troops bruised and handcuffed a handicapped man suffering from autism after he went for a regular stroll near an old building, which had been temporarily turned into barracks, housing hundreds of soldiers.
The 46-year-old man’s family revealed that he was left traumatised by the incident; they also stressed that despite the fact that his diagnosis implied he could not stay calm in stressful situations, he would never try to run away from the military.
The incident was confirmed by Commander Captain Frank Staurset, who apologised for the soldiers’ way of handling the matter.
NATO on a Collision Course
Just when the military thought the drills – along with the string of bad luck – were over, another mishap occurred.
Billed as ‘unsinkable,’ Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad was returning to base after taking part in the Trident Juncture drill when it collided with Sola TS, a Maltese oil tanker, prompting an hours-long operation to halt fuel leakage and save the military vessel from sinking.
Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad collided with oil tanker in Sture, north of Bergen, Norway.The warship was returning from #NATO #TridentJuncture exercises. All 137 crew have been evacuated. pic.twitter.com/Ji1F90OFoP— Military Advisor (@miladvisor) 8 November 2018
The collision, which occurred outside Equinor’s Sture oil terminal, resulted in a suspension of all shipping activity; all 137 people on board the frigate were evacuated, with eight sailor sustaining injuries. The Malta-flagged tanker, in turn, suffered minor damage and returned to port for inspection.