Royal Navy ships, submarines and aircraft together with NATO partners have completed the first Exercise Joint Warrior for 2014 off the coast of Scotland.
The flagship Joint Warrior training exercise has been the most complicated and largest exercise with 33 ships trained, 3 submarines, 48 fixed wing aircraft, 40 Rotary Wing aircraft and over 1,750 training objectives facilitated.
In total a staggering 13,584 personnel were trained from 9 Nations from including the UK, France, Denmark, Norway and US. Maritime patrol aircraft from as far away as New Zealand and Canada also attended to join in the exercise.
Joint Warrior exercises run twice a year – in the spring and autumn – with the spring session having just come to an end.
Joint Warrior is a tri-service exercise and the spring session saw elements of Army and RAF working alongside Royal Navy ships including HMS Bulwark, HMS Illustrious, frigates, destroyers and mine hunters as well as negotiating the unpredictable British weather and rolling seas.
It is coordinated and planned by a joint team of Royal Navy and RAF personnel based at Northwood HQ, London, augmented by up to 222 personnel from the three services, many of whom were are Reservists.
The planning team is headed up by Captain Tony Wyatt, he said: “Exercise Joint Warrior 141 has successfully enabled the generation of Defence’s Very High Readiness contingent capability from the Response Force Task Group and the Lead Commando Group through to the Air Assault Task Force and Joint Force Air Command.”
“The exercise provided relevant and credible training that allows joint working and is as realistic as it gets.
“Everyone concerned has benefited from nearly 3 weeks of intense and dynamic activity across northern England and Scotland.
“I am extremely grateful to the supporting cast of over 200 augmentees drawn from the Reserves and units across Defence without whom I could not deliver Joint Warrior.
“This has been a hugely rewarding exercise and I expect it to continually evolve as Defence restructures for contingency.”
Joint Warrior involved a number of evolving crises and conflict scenarios involving multiple nations, internal disputes, piracy and terrorist activities. Run over three weeks the exercise saw the development of simulated political and military tension in a fictional nation resulting in hostilities and war fighting.
But it does not stop for the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning team; as soon as this Joint Warrior ends it is time to start planning for the next one in the autumn.
Press Release, April 15, 2014; Image: Royal Navy