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The drill includes military forces from 31 countries and stretches from the Baltic Sea to Iceland

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U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, deployed during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, hike to a cold-weather training site inland in Iceland on Oct. 19, 2018.Supplied/Reuters

NATO’s biggest military manoeuvre since the Cold War kicked off Oct. 25 in Norway, with a hypothetical scenario that involved restoring the Scandinavian country’s sovereignty after an attack by a “fictitious aggressor.”

The drill, named Trident Juncture 2018, includes military forces from 31 countries and stretches from the Baltic Sea to Iceland. The exercise is to meant to ensure NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction, according to the alliance. It is a pro-active response to an “unpredictable and certain time,” wrote the Nordic Defence and Foreign Ministers in Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers.

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British Army soldiers take part in helicopter drills using a United States Army Chinook CH-47 helicopter during pre-exercise integration training on Oct. 27, 2018, in Haslemoen, Norway.Leon Neal/Getty Images

Russia, which shares a border with Norway, was briefed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on the Trident Juncture drill. They were invited to monitor, but Moscow is upset with the exercise, warning that Russia could be forced to respond to increased NATO activity close to its western border.

Russia last month held its biggest manoeuvre since 1981, called Vostok 2018 (translated to East 2018), moving 300,000 troops in a show of force close to China’s border.

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A British military Jackal armoured vehicle is seen during pre-exercise integration training on Oct. 25, 2018, in Norway.Leon Neal/Getty Images

European members of NATO urged the United States to try to bring Russia back into compliance with a nuclear arms control treaty rather than quit it, diplomats said. U.S. President Donald Trump had recently pulled out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles.

The drill is scheduled to end Nov. 7.

With files from The Canadian Press

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Members of the Royal Engineers take part in a bridge-building operation during pre-exercise integration training on Oct. 25, 2018, in Telneset, Norway.Leon Neal/Getty Images


Numbers

31

The amount of countries with military forces present in the drill

50,000

The amount of troops

250

The amount of aircraft vehicles

10,000

The amount of tanks, trucks and other land-based vehicles

300,000

The amount of troops involved in Russia’s manoeuvre, called Vostok 2018

Oct. 25 – Nov. 7

The length of NATO’s operation

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Lt. George from the Royal Engineers speaks to a colleague as she takes part in pre-exercise integration training on Oct. 25, 2018, in Telneset.Leon Neal/Getty Images

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Members of the Royal Engineers rearrange their camp layout during pre-exercise integration training on Oct. 25, 2018, in Telneset.Leon Neal/Getty Images

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