Highlands & Islands

UK-France military force tested in Scotland

Merlin helicopter Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Almost 60 aircraft are involved in Nato training taking place until 17 October

A new military force is being tested for the first time during a major exercise taking place in Scotland.

The Combined Joint Expeditionary Force is being set up to respond to any future crisis affecting the UK and France.

Its capabilities are being tested in Exercise Griffin Strike as part of the wider Nato exercise Joint Warrior.

Almost 4,000 troops, 58 aircraft and three submarines are involved in Joint Warrior.

Large parts of the training, which started last week, is taking place in and around Scotland and northern England.

Military personnel from the US, Turkey, Japan and the United Arab Emirates are also involved in Joint Warrior, which finishes on 17 October.

The exercise is held twice a year, in spring and autumn.

Since 2010, the UK and France have been working together to develop the joint expeditionary force, which when operational could draw on 10,000 personnel.

Griffin Strike is the first of five exercises for the force which is due to be fully operational by next summer.

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