Forces gather for international military exercise

HMS Blyth and Ramsay are pictured returning to Faslane after a long deployment in the Gulf.

HMS Blyth and Ramsay are pictured returning to Faslane after a long deployment in the Gulf.

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The north of Scotland will be invaded by a multi-national military forces this weekend as part of one of the largest military exercises in Europe.

Exercise Joint Warrior, which begins on Sunday, will involve naval activity from units from Denmark, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US and include thousands of service personnel from all three branches of the UK military.

The major operation, which is held twice a year, in the spring and autumn, is open to all NATO allies and partners and provides high quality operational training, providing the forces of all participating 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.

During the exercise, which runs until April 6, RAF Lossiemouth will host around 34 fixed wing and 18 rotary aircraft from France, Germany, the UK and US.

There will also be naval activity off the north and west coasts with many of the 35 participating naval units operating in both areas.

There will also be live firing exercises on the Cape Wrath weapons range in the north of Scotland as well as GPS denial operations at both Cape Wrath and Loch Ewe.

Around 430 additional personnel from the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) are also co-ordinating the giant exercise from HM Naval Base Clyde’s Maritime Operations Centre at Faslane.

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.

All relevant authorities, including aviation and maritime communities have been consulted and procedures are in place for unforeseen eventualities but relevant details have also been posted online

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