NATO's Trident Juncture 2015 military exercises kicked off with an opening ceremony at Italy's Trapani military base in Sicily, Monday. After representatives from the 30 NATO members participating in the drills hoisted their national flags, NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow addressed the troops, recalling that "the last time NATO regularly held exercises of this magnitude, we were in the midst of the Cold War, facing the Soviet threat." Vershbow went on to stress that, "we have a far more unstable and potentially more dangerous situation", claiming that "Russia has illegally annexed Crimea, and continues to support the separatists in eastern Ukraine." The U.S-led Trident Juncture 2015 military exercises involves 36,000 troops from 30 countries and will take place until November 6. Involving 230 military units who will perform in bases in Spain, Italy and Portugal, the exercises will be the biggest NATO military exercise to take place since 2002.
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