Everything You Need To Know About Europe's Biggest Military Exercise

Exercise Joint Warrior is a mammoth military event incorporating nations throughout Europe- but what actually goes and what’s it all in aid...

Europe's largest military exercise has begun.

Exercise Joint Warrior is a mammoth military event incorporating nations throughout Europe - but what actually goes on and what’s it all in aid of?

Who’s Involved?

More than 11,600 military personnel from 17 nations will take part in the exercise.

It is linked to the NATO exercise programme and open to Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) Partner Nations, including Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and the US.

Joint Warrior also hosts non-NATO partners such as Australia, Finland and Sweden.

In the past, the exercise has featured over 35 ships and 50 aircraft, including Royal Navy ships HMS Monmouth, HMS Portland, HMS Somerset, HMS Sutherland, HMS Cattistock, HMS Brocklesby, HMS Bangor and Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland.

2 PARA prepare to clear a building on Exercise Joint Warrior
2 PARA on Exercise Joint Warrior in 2017

Where Is The Exercise Based?

Exercise Joint Warrior operates out of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, in Scotland.

The exercise will also incorporate RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, and the Salisbury Plain training area.

Previous years have also seen live-firing training taking place at Cape Wrath's MoD range.

Soldiers from 2 PARA Battlegroup jump near the ground at the culmination of Exercise Joint Warrior from a C130 Aircraft, from Wattisham

What Happens?

The bi-annual exercise is running from the 21st April to 4th May.

This year the training scenarios involve multiple nations disputing resources and territories, as well as counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activity; information warfare; and evacuation operations.

The exercise will provide NATO allies and partner nations the opportunity to train together across air, land, sea and cyber domains, practising “high-end” war-fighting.

Chinook crews Pick up underslung loads at Woodbridge Airfield and refuel on Exercise Joint Warrior

It will culminate on Salisbury Plain Training Area on the 3 May when JEF forces will conduct urban combat operations with air support provided by Apaches, Chinooks, Wildcats and Tornados.

This will include troops from the UK Parachute Regiment, the Danish Jutland Dragoon Regiment, the Lithuanian “Iron Wolf” Brigade and the Latvian Mechanised Infantry Brigade.