UK Armed Forces Planning 23 Exercises with 28 Countries in 2019
NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force Cornerstones of UK Military Exercises
British soldiers, sailors and airmen will take part in 23 joint exercises with over 28 countries this year. According to a statement from Defence Minister Mark Lancaster, Her Majesty’s Armed Forces have a very busy year ahead of them.
In response to a question from Shadow Defence Minister Nia Griffith, Mr Lancaster said:
International defence exercises vary significantly in scale, complexity and the number of contributing nations, but all are focused upon developing interoperability with our allies and partners. The exercises involve a mix of live, synthetic and table top activity.
Key partners in the 2019 military exercise programme will be NATO, the nine-nation Joint Expeditionary Force and Combined Joint Expeditionary Force with France.
UK-French Military Exercises
Britain and France will be training their Combined Joint Expeditionary Force concept with major military exercises in March and November.
In April, Exercise Joint Warrior will bring together over 10,000 military personnel from 7 nations to train rapid reaction and interoperability of the Joint Expeditionary Force.
Baltic Operations Exercise (BALTOPS)
The annual Baltic Operations Exercise typically brings together 5,000 personnel from 17 nations, including up to 40 warships and 60 aircraft. This year, Britain will contribute an Amphibious Task Group, with HMS Albion and a force of Royal Marines.
In November, the UK-led Allied Rapid Reaction Corps will be tested to provide a Corps-level warfighting headquarters for NATO’s High Readiness Force.
HMS Queen Elisabeth and More
Joint training between Britain and the USA will see exercises involving aircraft carrier capability, fighter jets and land forces.
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster declined to give any further details on grounds of operational security.
Image: Royal Navy Marines beach landing using Landing Platform Dock ships and Viking armoured vehicles from Assault Ship HMS Bulwark, NATO Exercise Trident Juncture (Crown Copyright, 2015).