Hawk jets fly off for Joint Warrior
Five Hawk Jets flew off from Helston this weekend to take part in Europe’s largest naval exercise off the coast of Scotland.
The five fast jets from 736 Naval Air Squadron left their usual base of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose for Scotland to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior. Joint Warrior is a multi-national exercise that involves numerous warships, aircraft, marines and troops.
It brings together all three Services and prepares maritime forces for the challenges of real-world activity, from maritime security, counter-piracy to combat operations.
The exercise provides a complex environment in which UK, NATO and allied units can go through training together in tactics and skills for use in a combined joint task force. A range of scenarios will be run, including crisis and conflict situations that could be realistically encountered in operations.
The major exercise is held off the coast of Scotland twice a year in March and October. The five Royal Navy Hawks from Culdrose will help to simulate battles at sea and will pretend to ‘attack’ the ships through strike missions.
Commanding Officer of 736 Naval Air Squadron Lieutenant Commander Tim Flatman said: “During the exercise we get to play the enemy aggressors and will ‘attack’ the ships and generally cause problems for them.
"We will be conducting combined air operations with DA-20 Falcons from Cobham aviation, and alongside many other aircraft from the RAF as well as a host of European Air Forces. It’s a complex but realistic exercise, and will hopefully provide good training for all the participants as well as 736 NAS.”
“We have recently come back from exercise Albanian Lion, where we sent three fast jets and their support crews to the Adriatic. As well as playing the ‘aggressor role’, we also provided ‘close air support’ for the Royal Marines and the Albanian forces on the ground.
"This time round, we have built on the success of that deployment, and we are sending five hawk jets to Scotland.”
Tim added: “This is the third time that my squadron has taken part in Joint Warrior since we officially became 736. This time we will be based at Prestwick where we’ll be ‘bunking up’ with the Gannet Search and Rescue Flight who are part of Culdrose based 771 Naval Air Squadron.”
Exercise Joint Warrior provides an excellent training opportunity to test the Response Force Task Group - the Navy’s high readiness force. This is a group of Royal Naval ships that are on call to deploy anywhere in the world to deter adversaries, take part in maritime security operations, reassure allies and provide humanitarian disaster relief.