WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy admiral who will command a major NATO military exercise meant to simulate the alliance’s response to a theoretical Russian attack on Norway is urging Russia to accept an invitation to send observers.

Adm. James Foggo told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that he thinks Russia will want to be there. He said that by observing the defensive maneuvers, called Trident Juncture, the Russians would learn more about NATO’s capabilities. The NATO exercise begins Oct. 25

The exercises will involve 45,000 troops from the U.S. and other NATO member countries, plus Sweden and Finland, which cooperate with the alliance but are not members. Also involved will be about 150 aircraft, more than 60 ships and 10,000 military vehicles.

Foggo said it’s the largest NATO exercise since 2002.

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