Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Scotland set to host largest military exercise in Europe

22 September 2017
A major UK-led multinational exercise is set to begin next week when Exercise Joint Warrior gets underway.

One of the largest military exercises of its kind in Europe, Joint Warrior will run from October 1-12, providing NATO allies and partners with an opportunity to improve the tactics and procedures vital in today’s complex battlefield.

Fourteen nations will participate, bringing ships, aircraft and troops to military ranges across the country and to maritime exercise areas off the west and north coast of Scotland.

Activity will feature:

  • Thirty-five naval units from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US, supported by 11 rotary wing aircraft.
  • RAF Lossiemouth and HMS Gannet in Prestwick hosting international aircraft from Canada, France, Norway, the UK and US.
  • Cape Wrath Weapons Range in the North of Scotland being used for joint fires activity.

Exercise Joint Warrior will also incorporate elements of another major exercise known as Formidable Shield, running from September 21 to October 18.

Waters off the West Coast of Scotland will welcome 13 ships from eight countries, the majority of which are also taking part in Joint Warrior, as they conduct the air and missile defence exercise on the Hebrides Range west of Benbecula.

Exercise Joint Warrior is linked directly with the NATO Military Training Exercise Programme, enabling the Organisation to exploit the training opportunities provided by the exercise and to practice the skills needed for collective defence.

The biannual exercise is designed, planned and delivered by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) based at Northwood in London who deploy to HM Naval Base Clyde to coordinate events.

Made up of Royal Navy, RAF and Army personnel, JTEPS will augment its core staff of 22 with around 140 additional personnel – many of them Reservists – and with support from other NATO organisations and partner nations.

The scenario of the exercise will mirror a broad range of crisis and conflict situations which could realistically be experienced in real-world operations.

Over the fortnight participants will be faced with a period of increasing political and military tensions, along with a huge range of realistic military tasks such as: intelligence gathering and reconnaissance; anti-smuggling and counter-terrorism operations; humanitarian assistance and evacuation operations.

Exercise planning staff have liaised with a wide variety of communities and organisations ahead of Joint Warrior in order to minimise the impact of military activity.

Organisations consulted include: the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA); National Air Traffic Services (NATS); The Highlands and Islands Airports Authority; Scottish and Northern Irish fishery organisations; and several environmental agencies and groups.

Further information on Exercise Joint Warrior, including notices to mariners and impact statements, can be found by visiting Queen’s Harbour Master Clyde.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.