Joint Warrior 18, USS Ross, HDMS Esbekn Snare, RFA Tidespring, HMNB Clyde, Faslane (Crown Copyright, 2018) [880]

13 Navies Taking Part in Joint Warrior 18

39 Naval Units Involved in Multinational Exercise

Joint Warrior 18 will see 39 naval units from 13 nations taking part. The naval element is dictated from HMNB Clyde, where ships such as the American Arleigh Burke destroyer USS Ross and RFA Tidespring gathered ahead of Joint Warrior’s start.

Many of the naval units will be using maritime exercise areas off the western and northern coasts of Scotland, including Cape Wrath.

The view from HMS Montrose during Joint Warrior 18.

The view from HMS Montrose during Joint Warrior 18.

RFA Tidespring Supporting Joint Warrior 18

RFA Tidespring (A136) is the first of the UK’s new tankers built specifically to support HMS Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and their task groups. Commanded by Captain Simon Herbert, Tidespring is the second largest vessel on the Navy’s books after the future flagship.

RFA Tidespring and her three sister ships are flexible, state-of-the-art vessels that will provide key support to the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers as part of the UK government’s £178million equipment plan to provide the Armed Forces with the kit it needs to provide effective operational support across the globe.

The Tide Class tankers will replace the RFA’s current ageing single-hulled tankers. Larger than their predecessors and double hulled, they are an advanced capability specifically designed to provide fuel and water to the carriers. They can also accommodate a Chinook helicopter on special flight decks.

After supporting training for Royal Navy and foreign warships off Plymouth, the 37,000-tonne floating petrol station will be key to providing ‘black gold’ to participants in this year’s Joint Warrior exercise, the biannual air, land and sea interoperability training exercise for UK and Allied armed forces.