More than 11,000 sailors, soldiers, and aviators will today engage in a 12-day ‘war’ around the British Isles as part of the largest military exercise ever held in the UK.
The aim of Exercise Joint Warrior is to test and train the forces of NATO to defend a member state; it is a defensive exercise. Naval forces from across NATO will, as part of the exercise, repel attacks from above, on, and below the waters from Cape Wrath and the Hebrides to the North Sea and Channel.
More than 20 ships, a few submarines, some Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers, and seven Royal Navy warships – including the destroyer HMS Diamond and three frigates – are taking part. Ships from the United States, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Belgium and Latvia join them.
Allied forces will hunt each other
More than 30 aircraft, including RAF Typhoon fighters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft, will be committed to the exercise. Exercise planners also want to test participants’ reactions using ‘virtual’ aerial assets in addition to real ones.
Submarines will be pursued by anti-submarine ships, aircraft, and helicopters, while the US Marine Corps and the gunners of 29 Commando will engage enemies on land.
“Exercise Joint Warrior is a fantastic opportunity to fully demonstrate HMS Kent’s wide-ranging capabilities in close consort with other Royal Navy units, ground units, air assets and multinational forces,” said the Commanding Officer of the Portsmouth-based frigate, Commander Jez Brettell, in a press release.
“Having recently proven ourselves at Operational Sea Training, the exercise is ideally timed to consolidate our training at the very start of our deployment so that we are ready for anything that may follow.”
Links forged between members states
According to the Royal Navy website, this massive multinational war exercise involves warships, aircraft, marines and troops from UK, NATO and allied forces.
“The exercise doesn’t only allow participating units to hone their specialist roles within a larger war-style setting – it also helps foster vital links between the UK, NATO and other allied militaries. The aim is to provide a complex environment in which the participants can train together, honing tactics and skills in preparation for deployment as a Combined Joint Task Force.”
The scenario for each Joint Warrior is designed to reflect contemporary political tensions – such as the War on Terror during previous exercises or the invasion of a NATO member during more recent exercises – and simulate the hostilities that might result from them.
The ultimate aim? “To assure maximum preparedness in the face of any threat.”
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