ELEMENTS of one of the largest military exercises of its kind in Europe will take place in the Forth.

Ten nations will take part in Exercise Strike Warrior and will bring 31 warships, three submarines, 150 aircraft and 13,400 military personnel.

A total of 1,500 ground troops will take to ranges across the country and to maritime areas off the north and west coasts of Scotland.

Strike Warrior starts next Saturday, May 8, and will run to May 20, with a number of the participating vessels departing from ports on the east coast.

For this exercise, port visits will be kept to a minimum, however vessels are expected to arrive at Rosyth and Leith before joining the exercise.

Joint Warrior 21-1 is integrated with Exercise Strike Warrior 21 as part of the final preparations for the first deployment of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) next month.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship sits at the centre of the CSG which will deploy shortly after the completion of Strike Warrior.

Ten nations, (nine NATO and one non-NATO) will take part.

The participating NATO nations will be the UK, USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland; Australia is the non-NATO participant.

Joint Warrior (which takes place twice a year, in the spring and autumn) and Strike Warrior are designed, planned and delivered by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) based at Northwood in London, some of which will deploy to HM Naval Base Clyde to coordinate events during the Exercise.

Exercise activity will include 34 naval units from Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK and the USA participating around the Scottish coast.

Exercise Joint Warrior or Strike Warrior as it is known for this time only, is linked directly with the NATO Military Training Exercise Programme and brings together all three UK Armed Forces – the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air force – along with the other participating countries, to provide high quality training opportunities and improve joint operations between the UK and its allies.

Participants will practice a wide range of capabilities across land, sea and air in coordinated joint operations with other allied nations, with the Carrier Strike Group being a key element on this occasion prior to the deployment of the HMS Queen Elizabeth Task Group.

The scenario of the exercise will mirror a broad range of crisis and conflict situations which could realistically be experienced in real-world operations.

Over the fortnight, participants will be faced with a period of increasing political and military tensions, along with a huge range of realistic military tasks such as: intelligence gathering and reconnaissance; anti-smuggling and counter-terrorism operations; humanitarian assistance and evacuation operations.