The UK-led NATO exercise Joint Warrior will begin in Scotland this weekend and will see military forces from the US, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland join their UK hosts.
Around 11,500 personnel, over 20 ships and submarines, and 30 aircraft are expected to take part.
The exercise which will run from 1-14 October will include airborne assaults, amphibious landings, anti-submarine warfare, evacuations and live-fire exercises around the British Isles.
Joint Warrior runs through a range of scenarios, including crisis and conflict situations, that could be realistically encountered in operations, such as territory disputes, terrorist activity and piracy.
The aim is to provide a complex environment in which the participants can train together, honing tactics and skills in preparation for deployment as a Combined Joint Task Force.
Speaking during last year’s exercise Royal Navy Commodore Bradley Peats said:
“Large multinational training exercises like Joint Warrior improve NATO’s overall defence capabilities while enhancing its responsiveness to deploy high-readiness military forces to conduct coordinated joint operations against various current and future threats, which supports the NATO Readiness Initiative.”
NATO fighter aircraft and long-range maritime patrol aircraft will also take part, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Exercise planners also intend to use ‘virtual’ aerial assets alongside live ones to test the response of participants.
Land operations will see 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery will work alongside elements from the US Marine Corps.
The multi-national naval force will be led by seven Royal Navy warships, including Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond and three Type 23 frigates, all supported by a couple of Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers.
Type 23 frigate HMS Kent will take part in Joint Warrior following a period of maintenance and upgrades.
Commanding Officer of HMS Kent, Commander Jez Brettell said:
“Exercise Joint Warrior is a fantastic opportunity to fully demonstrate HMS Kent’s wide-ranging capabilities in close consort with other Royal Navy units, ground units, air assets and multinational forces.”
“Having recently proven ourselves at Operational Sea Training, the exercise is ideally timed to consolidate our training at the very start of our deployment so that we are ready for anything that may follow.”