Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NATO’s biggest and most ambitious exercise in over a decade, is underway, and the Son Sant Joan Spanish airforce base near Palma airport is playing a key part in the operation, acting as one of the bases for NATO aircraft.

NATO began the exercise in the Mediterranean last Saturday and it will continue until 6 November. These will be the biggest military manoeuvres in the past 20 years and will involve 36,000 soldiers from 30 nations. NATO says that the land, air, and sea drills are aimed at adjusting and certifying the capacity of its quick response force to be deployed in a short period in any region of the world.

However, European anti-war groups consider the military exercises an act of war, and Spanish experts see them as a step to possible NATO’s landing operations in Syria. About 20,000 soldiers will be deployed in eight Spanish regions, while it is estimated that 16,000 others will take part in exercises in zones of Italy and Portugal.

In Spain, the troops will be assembled in Zaragoza, where there is a training centre. Warplanes will also be deployed to the air bases of Torrejon, Zaragoza, Albacete as well as here in Palma.