10,000 troops from 13 countries begin to arrive in the UK for NATO exercise Joint Warrior

Exercise Joint Warrior
French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship Tonnerre (L9014) during Joint Warrior 2016 | Image credit: Neil Ritchie, editor

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported 14 March that more than 10,000 military personnel, 35 warships, 5 submarines and 59 aircraft and helicopters from 13 countries will take part in NATO’s Exercise Joint Warrior that will run from 30 March until 11 April.

Joint Warrior is a bi-annual UK-led NATO exercise that allows the UK’s Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and their allies to conduct joint operations involving different forces and units and against a range of current and future threats. Last April a delegation of Russian military personnel observed the manoeuvres.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “The UK military is a partner of choice for its major international allies and a resolute force for peace around the world. The UK will not waver in continuing to work with its allies to protect our mutual interests. Led by the UK, Joint Warrior allows key NATO allies to tackle complex warfare scenarios to ensure that the international community stands fit and ready to work to face any threat together.”

Joint Warrior will take place at the following locations in the UK:

  • 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, 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. There will be amphibious landings by Royal Marines at the MOD’s Castlemartin range in Wales and possibly also in Dumfries and Galloway.

10,300 armed forces personnel from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK and the US will take part in the exercise.