A string of modern warships from Britain’s allies have passed through Clydebank in recent days, as a major NATO training exercise takes place around Scotland’s west coast.
Joint Warrior brings together naval, land and air forces from the UK, United States, France, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. The task force takes on an unnamed ‘enemy’ in war games designed to prepare the alliance to instantly respond to unforeseen incidents around the world.
Aircraft, warships, submarines, amphibious forces and ground troops are all involved in the exercise, which began today (Monday, April 16).
Paratroopers launched an assault on an enemy airfield at West Freugh, near Stranraer, with naval forces engaging the ‘enemy’ to secure the soldiers landing zones. Joint Warrior’s opening air assault exercise involved more than 1,600 troops as well as Apache, Chinook and Sea King helicopters.
The navies participating in the exercise have sent more than 30 vessels crewed by over 8,000 sailors. By working closely as a united fighting force, the alliance maintains and develops its ability to operate effectively in large scale incidents such as last year’s Libyan conflict, as well as respond to terrorist attacks on events like the Olympics.
Several German ships have already past Clydebank as shipyards at Scotstoun and Govan are used to provide maintenance for the vessels taking part in Joint Warrior.