More than 900 Canadian sailors, airmen and airwomen of the Canadian Armed Forces departed April 2 to participate in Exercise Joint Warrior, a joint multinational NATO exercise taking place in the United Kingdom from April 15 to 25. Exercise Joint Warrior is the largest military tactical exercise in Europe and is designed to prepare NATO military forces to work together in a variety of missions from providing humanitarian aid to full-combat operations.
“This exercise presents an excellent opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to build and strengthen interoperability and combat effectiveness between Canada’s military and our NATO allies,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Our sailors and aircrew will conduct realistic training to enhance the various tactics, techniques, and procedures that they will employ on behalf of the Government of Canada in a variety of operational scenarios both at home and abroad.”
“Exercise Joint Warrior sets the stage for a broad range of evolving crisis and conflict scenarios that could be realistically experienced by our sailors and aircrew in future operations,” said Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander Royal Canadian Navy. “These joint exercises allow participating NATO forces to become familiar with each other’s personnel and platforms, which will pay future dividends as we continue to develop mutual trust and confidence in each other’s operational capabilities.”
Exercise Joint Warrior is organized by the UK and will involve the participation of close to 13, 000 military personnel, 55 vessels, and up to 40 aircraft from various NATO nations over a 10-day period. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Preserver, Iroquois, and St. John’s departed Halifax, N.S. on April 2 to begin their transit across the Atlantic Ocean and will participate in the exercise later in the month. They are accompanied by Royal Canadian Air Force personnel and aircraft including two CH-124 Sea King helicopters from 12 Wing Shearwater, N.S. on board HMCS Iroquois and HMCS St. John’s. In addition, two CP-140 Aurora aircraft from 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S. and 19 Wing Comox, B.C., will join the ships upon their arrival in the UK.
Commodore Darren Hawco, Commander of Canadian Fleet Atlantic, will assume command of one of the main Joint Warrior Task Groups, consisting of six Canadian and UK warships, demonstrating the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to play a lead role in international coalition operations.
During the transit of the Atlantic Ocean, the Canadian warships will conduct a series of unit-level and task group-level exercises in preparation for future operations. The high tempo program will provide training and experience to the ships’ companies in a wide range of at-sea evolutions, including navigation and seamanship training, helicopter operations, and various simulated combat exercises.