The Royal Navy helicopter and commando carrier, HMS Illustrious, has joined one of the largest military exercises in Europe.
The exercise, which includes participants from the UK, USA, Germany, Netherlands, France, Norway, Denmark and Canada, will take place between April 16 and 26 and is designed to develop the ability of aircraft, warships and submarines to operate as part of a multi national Task Group in a complex and demanding operational environment.
Joint Warrior features a wide-ranging scenario which brings into exercise play situations experienced in complex, modern conflicts. The scenario involves three sovereign nations, some disputed territory, drug smuggling, piracy, state-sponsored terrorism and counter insurgency.
The scenario will develop over the two-weeks of the exercise, beginning with a period of military and political tension and evolving into simulated war fighting and potential state-on-state hostilities to enable a wide range of military skills to be exercised.
During the exercise HMS Illustrious will embark Helicopters from all three services, including Apache, Sea King, Chinook and Merlin. She will also embark a company of Royal Marines from Arbroath based 45 Commando in order to exercise her amphibious operations capability.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Illustrious, Captain Martin Connell, said:
“Exercise Joint Warrior is one of the largest and most comprehensive military training exercises in Europe.
“The Exercise will provide HMS Illustrious and her crew with the opportunity to train alongside UK Forces and NATO and Allied partners in a challenging and diverse multi-threat environment.
“HMS Illustrious’ participation in Joint Warrior is key to attaining the ship’s status as the UK’s high readiness helicopter and commando carrier, ready to deploy anywhere in the world.”
Following on successful completion of operational sea training at the end of last year and recent involvement in the multi-national arctic based exercise Cold Response, HMS Illustrious’ participation in Joint Warrior represents the final milestone since she returned to the fleet last summer following a refit period.
Source: Navaltoday Staff, April 18, 2012; Image: royalnavy