The third major exercise of Cougar 13 has just ended on the shores of the United Arab Emirates.
The Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group has completed Sea Khanjar – a five day exercise culminating in a large amphibious demonstration for gathered visitors.
Watching on were guests including: Major General Ed Davis, Commandant General Royal Marines, Lieutenant General Simon Mayall (Defence Senior Advisor Middle East), Vice Admiral Phil Jones, Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Lieutenant General Mike Hindmarsh, Commander of the United Arab Emirates Presidential Guard, and Colonel A Al-Tenaji, Commander United Arab Emirates Presidential Guard Marines.
Sea Khanjar is a bilateral exercise between the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) and the UAE Armed Forces and came after the recent successes of Albanian Lion, in Albania, and Red Alligator, in Saudi Arabia.
Commodore Paddy McAlpine OBE heads up the RFTF. He said,
“The success of Exercise Sea Khanjar 13 was based upon the close professional relationship we have with our Emirati allies. We have proved, once again, that we can plan and operate alongside each other effectively and efficiently.
“We have been very well hosted during a most demanding, very professionally rewarding and enjoyable, week long exercise.”
The RFTG is the United Kingdom’s high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, survey vessels, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking if required.
Although the exercise was predominately about maritime integration with the UAE Armed Forces, the exercise tested the capability of the Response Force Task Group as it under went simulated air raids and water-borne attack from small fast in-shore craft, amphibious operations, mine counter measures, hydro-graphic survey operations, modern urban combat, range live firings, as well as training for boarding operations.
During Cougar 13 the RFTG has operated in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, the Gulf, and Horn of Africa.
It involves exercising with partner nations, and will show the UK Armed Forces’ capacity to project an effective maritime component anywhere in the world as part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group, commanded by Commodore Paddy McAlpine OBE ADC Royal Navy.
Press Release, October 16, 2013; Image: Royal Navy