UK, France kick off Exercise Griffin Strike

HMS Bulwark, one of three Royal Navy ships taking part in Exercise Griffin Strike. Photo: Royal Navy
HMS Bulwark, one of three Royal Navy ships taking part in Exercise Griffin Strike. Photo: Royal Navy

Three French and three Royal Navy warships have joined the exercise Griffin Strike which will see participation from around 5,000 personnel from UK and France during the following two weeks.

Simultaneously, over 3,400 more NATO troops will exercise by land, sea and air during the two weeks of Exercise Joint Warrior.

During Joint Warrior, much of which will take place off the coast of Scotland, 22 ships, four submarines and more than 40 aircraft from 12 NATO nations and three partner nations will take part.

Around 1,500 personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force will participate. Other countries taking part include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US.

As for exercise Griffin Strike, a UK-French headquarters will be planning and executing major land, sea and air activity to test the Combined UK and French Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF).

The CJEF has been developed since 2010 as a product of the bilateral Lancaster House Treaty and will enable the UK and France to deploy forces rapidly to conflict zones ahead of a wider NATO or coalition operation, or to meet peace-keeping, disaster relief or humanitarian assistance requirements.

This exercise will demonstrate the sending of a tri-service force into an area of operations. Aircraft including Typhoon and Rafale jets will operate from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, while at sea warships including HMS Ocean, Bulwark and Duncan will work off the south and west coast of England with French ships including FS Dixmude, FS Cassard and FF La Motte Piquet. On Salisbury Plain elements of the Army’s 3(UK) Division and French 7th Mechanised Brigade including paratroopers, armored units and infantrymen, will work together.