World

NATO shows off its military muscle in 30-nation exercise, cautions potential foes

  • US Navy hovercrafts approach the beach at the beginning of the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015 at Raposa Media beach in Pinheiro da Cruz, south of Lisbon, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2015. NATO Allies and partner nations join forces for the next three weeks for the Alliance's Trident Juncture live military exercise involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Portugal, Italy and Spain. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)

    US Navy hovercrafts approach the beach at the beginning of the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015 at Raposa Media beach in Pinheiro da Cruz, south of Lisbon, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2015. NATO Allies and partner nations join forces for the next three weeks for the Alliance's Trident Juncture live military exercise involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Portugal, Italy and Spain. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)  (The Associated Press)

  • US marines and portuguese fuzileiros get off a US Navy hovercraft after landing at the beach during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015 at Raposa Media beach in Pinheiro da Cruz, south of Lisbon, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. NATO Allies and partner nations join forces for the next three weeks for the Alliance's Trident Juncture live military exercise involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Portugal, Italy and Spain. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)

    US marines and portuguese fuzileiros get off a US Navy hovercraft after landing at the beach during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015 at Raposa Media beach in Pinheiro da Cruz, south of Lisbon, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. NATO Allies and partner nations join forces for the next three weeks for the Alliance's Trident Juncture live military exercise involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Portugal, Italy and Spain. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)  (The Associated Press)

  • US marines and portuguese fuzileiros hold their positions after getting off US Navy hovercrafts during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015 at Raposa Media beach in Pinheiro da Cruz, south of Lisbon, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. NATO Allies and partner nations join forces for the next three weeks for the Alliance's Trident Juncture live military exercise involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Portugal, Italy and Spain. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)

    US marines and portuguese fuzileiros hold their positions after getting off US Navy hovercrafts during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015 at Raposa Media beach in Pinheiro da Cruz, south of Lisbon, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. NATO Allies and partner nations join forces for the next three weeks for the Alliance's Trident Juncture live military exercise involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Portugal, Italy and Spain. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Marines and other NATO troops have staged a mock amphibious assault on Europe's coastline as part of the alliance's biggest exercise in 13 years.

The Trident Juncture training event being held through November in Portugal, Spain and Italy involves about 36,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen from more than 30 countries.

It's a show of strength designed to send a message to potential foes, organizers and analysts say, that NATO possesses the power to deter potential attackers, and it hasn't forgotten about southern Europe despite pressing concerns on its eastern border.

The maneuvers are testing the flagship NATO Response Force — quick-deployment units created in 2014 and due to be ready by next year.

Troops stormed a section of the southern Portuguese shoreline Tuesday, using hovercraft and helicopters.