NATO SNMG1 joins UK-US carrier-centric drill Saxon Warrior

When the joint UK-US exercise Saxon Warrior kicked off in waters north of Scotland on August 1, 9000 NATO-sailors on 15 warships got underway for the drills.

In addition to U.S. and Royal Navy assets, the exercise is joined by the flagship of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1, the Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Otto Sverdrup. Over a hundred aircraft will also be involved in the exercise.

The U.K. carrier strike group commander is embarked with their team aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS  George H.W. Bush while elements from the Bush CSG will work in concert with the United Kingdom’s CSG and maritime units from Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Saxon Warrior is an exercise designed to develop theater-specific combat skills, as well as enhance cooperation between the forces.

Led by the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Saxon Warrior ’17 challenges participants by creating a diverse and unpredictable war environment based on fictional geo-political and military scenarios.

“Saxon Warrior allows both U.S. and U.K. naval forces a chance to hone our interoperability skills,” said Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander, Carrier Strike Group 2. “Particularly important is the alignment of U.S. carrier strike groups and the U.K. carrier strike group. This unique opportunity affords the spectrum of warfighting for both strike group staffs, strengthening our military understanding and capability.”


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