Colchester: Troops join allies on major exercise
- Credit: Cpl Obi Igbo
THE British Army’s rapid reaction force is preparing to join the largest military exercise in Europe by air and sea.
As part of Exercise Joint Warrior, Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade is testing the transport and logistical procedures required to deploy on operations anywhere in the world at short notice.
The 1,300-strong Air Assault Task Force (AATF) was mobilised to be ready to fly into action by parachute and helicopter at West Freugh, near Stanraer in Scotland, yesterday.
Major Nick Galle, who is in charge of logistic planning, said: “It is important to test the practical elements of moving troops and equipment at short notice and getting them ready to depart by air or sea for where they are needed.
“By rehearsing these moves now, we will be better prepared if we are called on to do it for real.”
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The AATF will be joined by around 300 soldiers from the French 11e Brigade Parachutist (11e BP).
The two brigades are at the forefront of closer military cooperation between Britain and France and have trained together to develop the Intermediate Combined Joint Expeditionary Force.
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Joint Warrior tests the readiness for contingency operations ranging from disaster relief to war fighting.
As well as checking around 300 vehicles and booking soldiers in, logistics specialists practised moving kit by sea.