Thousands of servicemen will join 30 planes and 25 warships for Europe’s largest military exercise in Ayrshire


Prestwick Airport is due to play its part in what will be Europe’s largest military exercise later this week.

The airport is expected to accommodate several military planes from this Saturday as the UK joins forces with many other countries in “Exercise Joint Warrior 212”.

And navy enthusiasts will also have the chance to see ships from Belgium, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia and Norway as they sail on their way. towards the Clyde – some arriving at Hunterston, North Ayrshire.

The UK-led multinational exercise, which takes place twice a year, in the spring and fall, will run from Saturday September 18 through Thursday September 30 and includes a number of participating ships departing from the ports of the West Coast.

Eleven NATO countries will participate, bringing 25 warships, three submarines, more than 30 aircraft and approximately 6,750 military personnel, including 500 troops on the ground, to military ranges across the country and to areas maritime exercises off the west and north coasts of Scotland.

Participating NATO countries will be the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France, Norway, Latvia, Germany and the United States.

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Part of the exercise activity includes: around 30 aircraft taking part in the exercise with some of them operating from Prestwick Airport (formerly HMS Gannet) and RAF Lossiemouth, combat vessels mines (MCMs) conducting minehunting drills in the areas around Campbeltown, Loch Ewe, Gruinard Bay, Loch Broom, Little Loch Broom, Enard Bay and Shiant Bank and amphibious operations near Loch Ewe, Loch Goil and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Prestwick Airport will see a lot of military air traffic this weekend
Prestwick Airport will see a lot of military air traffic this weekend

Participating nations will also practice a wide range of land, sea and air capabilities in coordinated joint operations with other allied nations.

The exercises are designed to reflect a wide range of “crisis and conflict situations” that could “be realistically experienced” in real world operations.

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