The primary role of Alliance military forces is to protect peace and to guarantee the territorial integrity, political independence and security of the member states. The Alliance forces must therefore be able to deter and defend effectively. The Alliance operates in an environment of continuing change. The Alliance remains subject to a wide variety of military and non-military risks that are multi-directional and often difficult to predict.
Alliance military forces contribute to promoting stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area by their participation in military-to-military contacts and in other co-operation activities and exercises under the Partnership-for-Peace (PfP) programme, as well as those organised to deepen NATO’s relationship with Russia, the Ukraine and the Mediterranean Dialogue countries.
Given the multinational and joint character of Allied operations, coherence and interoperability between those national force contributions have to be enhanced. The Adoption of common doctrines, procedures and standards, as well as the need for Alliance forces to train, exercise and operate together is imperative. Hence the need for multinational exercise programmes.
The term NATO Military Exercise includes all exercises for which NATO is the initiating or the joint initiating authority. Associated with NATO Military Exercises are building blocks, such as: seminars, study periods and workshops.