Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) Ships HDMS Absalon and HMCS Halifax recently concluded their successful participation in exercise Joint Warrior 21-1 (JW21-1) off the coast of Scotland on May 14, 2021. Joint Warrior is UK-led multinational exercise held twice a year in the waters around the United Kingdom and is designed to exercise a wide range of high-readiness warfighting capabilities across land, sea and air units in coordinated joint operations. It provides realistic multi-threat scenarios within a safe operating environment into which NATO Allies and partner nations’ formations, units and staffs can deploy and undertake collective training in preparation for any upcoming joint deployments.
This year, JW21-1 takes place May 8-20 and was integrated with Exercise Strike Warrior 21 (SW21) for the first time, which is the final stage in preparing the UK’s Carrier Strike Group (UK CSG) for its maiden operational deployment. On completion of JW21-1, The UK CSG, led by the Royal Navy flagship – aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, will set sail to the Indo-Pacific region for a high-profile seven-month long deployment showcasing its flexibility and ability to act at all levels allowing political, diplomatic and military options. The carrier strike activity demonstrates power projection over large distances with its unparalleled combat capability, and are a critical element of NATO deterrence.
Several Allied aircraft carriers, under national command, are deploying into SACEUR area of responsibility during these months, demonstrating Allied unity and commitment to effectively deliver multi-domain effects. Throughout JW21-1, SNMG1 Ships HDMS Absalon and HMCS Halifax were joined by HNLMS Van Amstel, ORP GeneraÅ‚. K. PuÅ‚aski, FGS Spessart, HDMS HvidbjÃ¸rnen and FS Bretagne, under the command of Commodore Bradley Peats. Task Group simulated a belligerent naval adversary for the UK CSG according to the fictional JW21-1 exercise scenario. SNMG1 and its consorts began JW 21-1 with a brief Combat Enhancement/Force Integration Training (CET/FIT) programme in the waters off Northwest Scotland known as the Minch.
This phase ensured that participating units were fully integrated into the task group and ready to conduct various high-intensity operations and assume specific roles/responsibilities as part of the exercise. Following the CET/FIT phase, the Group entered the free-play phase where units reacted to unscripted events as they happened and interacted with the UK CSG opposition forces in a variety of realistic operational scenarios. NATO protects almost a billion people across two continents by working together to collectively deter potential aggressors and confront challenges across a vast range of operations.