11 nations combine for major military exercise

Mine hunters HMS Blyth and HMS Ramsey will take part in Exercise Joint Warrior.

A major international military exercise will be launched on the River Clyde this weekend.

The latest Exercise Joint Warrior will include 35 naval units from Denmark, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

Thousands of 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 March 26 and run until April 6.

HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane will host around 430 additional personnel from the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff, who will co-ordinate the giant exercise from the Base’s Maritime Operations Centre.

Many of the warships involved will gather at Faslane and at Glasgow’s King George V dock ahead of the exercise, with most of the activity in the exercise itself happening off the west and north coasts of Scotland.

A new Royal Navy initiative, Information Warrior, will use the wider exercise to demonstrate key elements of the navy’s information warfare programme.

A Navy spokesperson said: “Activity will demonstrate innovative improvements to communications and information systems, operations in contested electro-magnetic environments, developments in artificial intelligence and information exploitation capabilities.

“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 practised.”

The navy says that GPS denial operations will be limited to small areas off Cape Wrath and Loch Ewe and only at specific times: “All relevant authorities, including aviation and maritime communities have been consulted beforehand and procedures are in place for unforeseen eventualities.”