From the Moray Firth to the Clyde warships, submarines and aircraft have been getting ready for the start of Europe’s largest military exercise.
Exercise Joint Warrior involves 24 ships, two submarines , 40 aircraft and over 4,500 military personnel from ten countries, including the US, France, Canada, Germany and Estonia.
The two-week long exercise is one of the most complicated in the world, combining aerial, above-water and underwater military training.
Incorporating everything from naval gunfire support to aerial combat, attacks by small, fast watercraft and humanitarian assistance operations, Joint Warrior throws a number of different challenges at every participating unit.
“The exercise is designed to test the collective skill, knowledge and equipment of the participants in a range of different environments” said Captain Phillip Titterton, of the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) who co-ordinate Joint Warrior.
“By training in this fashion, we are able to prepare for a whole range of potential and ultimately realistic tactical scenarios, from out-and-out warfare to rescuing hostages captured by pirates.”
Held twice a year, Joint Warrior aims to provide the capabilities needed to create a military force capable of being deployed to worldwide incidents such as last year’s war in Libya.
It also helps improve the working relationship between the British Armed Forces, NATO and coalition counterparts by allowing them to work together in a simulated and controlled operational environment.
Captain Nelson Castro, the Commander of the United States Navy’s Destroyer Squadron 26, said:
“Many of the Allied units involved in Joint Warrior exercises will be the same units our ships will see on deployment.
“This familiarity allows for the development of trust as you know almost exactly how the Allied unit will respond during combat operations.”
Joint Warrior will run until Thursday 11th October.
Naval Today Staff,October 2, 2012; Image: Royal Navy