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.
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.
Other Royal Navy vessels involved in Joint Warrior 18 include HMS Montrose, and the Mine Countermeasures Vessels HMS Pembroke, HMS Shoreham, HMS Hurworth, HMS Brocklesby and HMS Ramsey.
US Navy in Joint Warrior 18
“U.S. participation in exercises like Joint Warrior is further proof that we are committed to acting collectively with our NATO allies, European partners, and the entire international community to disrupt threats to our mission of bringing stability to the region,” said Cmdr. Bryan S. Gallo, commanding officer of Ross. “No single nation can combat global threats alone. The more the U.S. and our NATO and European allies train together, the more effective we’ll be. Joint Warrior is an excellent chance to continue to hone those relationships and train with the best of the best.”
In addition to Ross, two other U.S. Navy ships are taking part in the exercise, led by Commander, Task Force 65. They are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) and the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12). Joining the ships is a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconaissance aircraft from the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26.
“USS Gravely is proud to be joining our NATO and partner nations in Joint Warrior,” said Cmdr. Justin R. Hodges, commanding officer of Gravely. “We are excited for the opportunity to conduct dynamic and challenging exercises across multiple warfare areas, which are sure to improve our interoperability. My crew has been training for this exercise, and we are ready to put that training to use through the complex and realistic scenarios provided by Joint Warrior.”
Joint Warrior involves sea, ground and air assets from participating allied and NATO forces and aims to foster a spirit of teamwork between nations.
Fourteen other countries are participating in this iteration of Joint Warrior. They include: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of regional allies and partners and U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
Warships taking part in the exercise will include ships from NATO’s SNMG 1, composed of group flagship frigate HDMS Niels Juel, German corvette FGS Erfurt, Canadian frigate HMCS St. John’s and Turkish frigate TCG Gediz. Other ships known to be taking part are Royal Navy landing ship dock RFA Lyme Bay, French aviso FS Commandant L-Herminier, Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen, HDMS Esbekn Snare, and German frigate Lubeck and tanker Spessart. From the Royal Norwegian Navy Alta-class minesweeper HNOMS Otra (M351) and HNOMS Thor Heyerdahl are also taking part. Controversially, Turkish frigate TCG Gediz will also be joining the allied forces despite serious problems with the Turkish regime on human rights and other abuses. Joint Warrior 18 is also likely to be attended by one or more submarines whose movements are generally classified information.
In the spirit of transparency, confidence building and risk reduction, the Ministry of Defence welcomed a Russian Military Inspection Team, saying “We are committed to an international rules based order.”
The exercise is due to conclude in May. Follow the tweets with the hashtag
Sources: Royal Navy; US Navy.
Image: USS Ross, HDMS Esbekn Snare and RFA Tidespring gather at HMNB Clyde, Faslane, for Joint Warrior 18 (Crown Copyright, 2018).