The next two weeks will see French and British servicemen and women training side by side on the sea, on land and in the air.

Major General Skeates

The exercise is the culmination of many years of UK-French military and naval cooperation. It is also a key component of the commitment towards joint working made by both nations at the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement in 2010. 

Standing Joint Force Commander Major General Skeates CBE said: “Exercise Griffin Strike marks a key milestone in the development of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, the embodiment of our military relationship with France.

“The next two weeks will see French and British servicemen and women training side by side on the sea, on land and in the air. 

"Together with Admiral Laurent Isnard, my French counterpart, we are anxious to demonstrate that our military partnership is now on a new level and show how the combined UK-France Combined Joint Task Force in the most testing of circumstances, stands shoulder to shoulder. 

"This is an immensely exciting prospect and one which will put our sailors, soldiers and airmen through their paces.”

Simultaneously, over 3,400 more NATO troops will exercise by land, sea and air during the two weeks of Exercise Joint Warrior.

During Joint Warrior, much of which will take place off the coast of Scotland, 22 ships, four submarines and more than 40 aircraft from 12 NATO nations and three partner nations will take part.

Around 1,500 personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force will participate. 

Other countries taking part include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US.

Captain Andrew Stacey of the Royal Navy, responsible for the planning and delivery of Joint Warrior, said: “Joint Warrior remains a unique opportunity for UK, NATO and Partner Nations’ forces to train alongside each other and test their capabilities in an operationally realistic and challenging environment.

"The complexity of the exercise, which is always evolving, supports maritime, land and air training at large scale and delivers intense scenarios that drive our combined warfighting capabilities.”