Published: 23/03/2017 11:38 - Updated: 24/03/2017 10:09

Major military exercise off NW Sutherland starts on Sunday

RN mine hunters HMS Blyth and HMS Ramsey are scheduled to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior.
RN mine hunters HMS Blyth and HMS Ramsey are scheduled to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior.

North and West Sutherland will experience major military activity when Exercise Joint Warrior gets underway this weekend.

Thousands of Service personnel from all three branches of the UK military, and personnel from allied and partner nations, will take part in the exercise which is scheduled to begin on Sunday and run on until April 6.

Exercise activity in the north of Scotland will include:

• Live firing on the Cape Wrath weapons range as well as GPS denial operations conducted during limited periods at both Cape Wrath and Loch Ewe.  

• Naval activity off the north and west coasts with many of the 35 naval units taking part operating in these areas.

• RAF Lossiemouth hosting aircraft during the fortnight with around 34 fixed wing and 18 rotary aircraft from France, Germany, the UK and US participating in Joint Warrior.

All relevant authorities, including aviation and maritime communities have been consulted and procedures are in place for unforeseen eventualities.

One of the largest military exercises in Europe, Joint Warrior will see maritime activity involving units from Denmark, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. 

Around 430 additional personnel from the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff – or JTEPS – will be co-ordinating the giant exercise from HM Naval Base Clyde’s Maritime Operations Centre.

Meanwhile, on land, 16 Air Assault Brigade Headquarters and the associated Battle Group, 2 Para, will join troops from the Netherlands, Sweden and the US.  

The exercise will provide the UK, allies and partner nations the opportunity to practice the vital skills needed on the modern battlefield.

During the fortnight skills such as maritime task force training, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, mine counter measures training, maritime security operations, close air support, intelligence gathering, electronic warfare training, and GPS denial operations will all be practiced. 

Exercise Joint Warrior is held twice a year, in the spring and autumn, and participation is open to all NATO allies and partners, providing high quality operational training.

For more information on Exercise Joint Warrior, including notices to mariners and details of GPS denial operations, visit Queen’s Harbour Master Clyde’s (QHM Clyde) webpage at:  www.royalnavy.mod.uk/qhm/clyde/jw.

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