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Massive military operation swings into action; Cape Wrath and Tain bombing range included in Joint Warrior exercise


By Hector MacKenzie


Royal Navy ship HMS Albion, one of the UK vessels taking part in the second Joint Warrior exercise this year.
Royal Navy ship HMS Albion, one of the UK vessels taking part in the second Joint Warrior exercise this year.

SUTHERLAND will play its part in an international military exercise designed to test Britain's defensive capabilities over the next fortnight.

More than 3700 military personnel, 52 aircraft, 15 warships and three submarines from 14 countries will take part in Exercise Joint Warrior until October 17.

Land activity will focus on integrating with close air support at the Cape Wrath naval bombardment range and the RAF bombing range at Tain, supported by the RAF Spadeadam Electronic Warfare Training Range in Cumbria.

Many of the UK and international vessels will gather at HM Naval Base Clyde ahead of the exercise as well as at Greenock and Glasgow’s King George V dock.

The exercise allows the UK’s armed forces and their allies to practice joint operations, integrating this to train them against different forces and units and against a range of current and future threats.

Although run by the UK, Joint Warrior "is closely aligned to NATO training aims" and is included in the NATO exercise programme.

The exercise will be controlled and directed from the Maritime Operations Centre at Scotland’s largest military establishment, HM Naval Base Clyde, with a range of air, surface, sub-surface, sea control and maritime security roles being rehearsed off the west coast of Scotland.

Air units will coordinate with maritime and land forces, exercising Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), air defence, air mobility and attack. Aircraft will operate from RAF Lossiemouth, Prestwick and Stornoway airports as well as from RAF Leeming, RAF Coningsby, RAFCranwell, RAF Mildenhall, RAF Marham and RAF Brize Norton.

Land activity will focus on integrating with close air support at the Cape Wrath naval bombardment range and the RAF bombing range at Tain, supported by the RAF Spadeadam Electronic Warfare Training Range in Cumbria.

NATO nations participating in Exercise Joint Warrior are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US. The Non-NATO nations taking part are Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

Together they will deploy 3700 armed forces personnel, splitting into two opposing Task Forces, starting in the Scottish Exercise Areas (water and airspace including the Minches).

Exercise Joint Warrior has been designed, planned and delivered by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) based at Northwood in London who will deploy to HM Naval Base Clyde to coordinate events during the fortnight.

Further information on Exercise Joint Warrior, including notices to mariners, details of GPS Denial Operations and impact statements, can be found by visiting Queen’s Harbour Master Clyde’s page on the Royal Navy website:https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/qhm/clyde/joint-warrior



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