Royal Navy leads huge military exercise around the UK

The biggest military exercise in the UK begins tomorrow as more than 11,000 sailors, soldiers and aircrew wage a 12-day ‘war’ around the British Isles.

From Cape Wrath and the Hebrides to the North Sea and Channel, naval forces from across NATO will grapple with attacks from above, on and below the waves during Joint Warrior, Britain’s long-standing test of it – and international – military by land, sea and air.

More than 20 ships and a handful of submarines, led by seven Royal Navy warships, including destroyer HMS Diamond and three frigates (Kent, Northumberland and Somerset), plus a couple of Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers are participating.

They are joined by vessels from the US, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, France and Latvia.

More than 30 aircraft, including RAF Typhoon fighters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft will be committed, as well as drone technology and exercise planners intend to use ‘virtual’ aerial assets alongside live ones to test the response of participants.

Anti-submarine ships, aircraft and helicopters will hunt down live submarines, while land forces dealing with foes will include the gunners of 29 Commando Royal and elements of the US Marine Corps.

“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.

“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.”

Joint Warrior is typically run from Clyde Naval Base, with the action mostly focused in north-west Scotland and adjacent waters.

This latest exercise, however, casts its net across the British Isles. Naval task groups will face each other down in both the North Sea off the coast of Scotland and the north-east coast of England, then again in the western Channel off Cornwall and Devon.

As a result, the exercise – which is due to end on October 12 – will be directed from RAF St Mawgan, near Newquay in Cornwall.

 

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

Commander Jez Brettell, HMS Kent

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