Newfoundland town turned into military training ground

École St. Anne
Cape St. George's, NF

By Holly Simon, Grade 10


Four thousand troops from four different countries -- along with 48 warships and 135 military aircraft -- descended on the town of Stephenville, Newfoundland, in June.

They were there for MARCOT/UNIFIED SPIRIT' 98, a major military exercise, which took place from June 13-20. MARCOT, which stands for Maritime Combined Operational Training, has evolved into Canada's largest annual joint exercise, as UNITED SPIRIT' 98, one of the premier annual training events for NATO.

This exercise involves some 15,000 naval, land and air personnel from 10 NATO countries which are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States.

Its goal is to provide realistic training which allows Canadian Forces and its NATO partners to gain the necessary skills to conduct military missions in support of national interests.

The exercise began off the Nova Scotia coast on June 3. The military spent about ten days there proceeding to Stephenville, where the exercise concluded on June 20.

During this time, a myriad of individual and combined operations were conducted in support of the overall mission. The operations included naval surface warfare, convoys, mine-hunting and mine-sweeping amphibious operations, electronic warfare, harbor defense, tactical helicopter operations, anti-submarine warfare, air superiority operations, peace support operations and the evacuations of citizens from an unstable situation.

The scenarios may be fictitious, but the lessons learned and capabilities developed are very real and useful for NATO in its pursuit of a peaceful and secure world.

For further information on MARCOT/UNIFIED SPIRIT' 98, visit their WebPage at

Front Page News