10 NATO NAVIES IN EXERCISES OFF SCOTLAND
Royal Navy News Service (UK)
32 ships from ten NATO nations and one Partnership for Peace nation are exercising off Scotland in this summer's Joint maritime Course (JMC). The UK surface ships involved are the Type 42 Destroyer HMS Manchester, the Type 23 Frigates HMS Portland and HMS St Albans as well as Mine Countermeasures vessels HMS Inverness and HMS Penzance. The exercises will include naval gunfire support, boarding operations, electronic warfare and anti-submarine warfare. This latter involves planes, helicopters, surface ships and submarines including HMS Torbay.
Operational highlights so far have included the integration of the German Navy's fast patrol boats, capitalising on their 40 knots speed and 659 squadron Army Air Corps who, from their adopted base in Inverness, have been supporting both the air and land component commanders. HMS St Albans has used many of her weapon systems for the first time.
The ships have now split into two opposing task groups and are conducting operational missions off the north west of Scotland. One task group is commanded by Captain Corder embarked with members of the UK Battle Staff in HMS Manchester. The other is commanded by a US Navy Captain (supported by his staff) embarked on the Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, USS Bulkeley. Both task groups are seeking to gain the upper hand in a fictious scenario based on various parts of recent conflicts in which UK Armed Forces have been involved.
In addition to ships, submarines and embarked helicopters, over sixty fast jets are also taking part from eight nationalities including American F15s flying out of Iceland and French Super Entendards.
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