Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Bletchley Park is at war – and it’s not historic, it’s current

A few years ago, Bletchley Park was struggling for recognition and funds.

Now, it is has become quite well-known as having been Station X during World War II, the place when Britain’s codebreakers worked to successfully defeat various German methods of encryption, with Enigma probably being the most widely known, although many other system were defeated there.

Bletchley Memorial

Bletchley Memorial 2013 © Roger Davies via geograph
The memorial consists of two slabs of Caithness stone one with the wording ‘We also served’ and the other with a sculpted list of 25 of the some 300 outstations that existed across the globe

While the immediate risks to the various building that make up the site have possibly receded, and funding for maintaining the facility appears to be appearing from sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), all is far from well.

It’s hard to know what’s going behind the closed doors of the various bodies and trusts which are involved, but there seem to be major problems coming with the funds and grants, and the people charged with looking after them.

As well as the people at the top, there is conflict on the site as well, as the site is home not only to the artefacts and stories of the World War II activities which took place there, but also the National Museum of Computing. This has ended up sharing the site, since so many development that played a part with Station X during the war would go on to find applications in computing. The two are intimately connected, as developments in one led to advances in the other.

But all is not well, and the two sites seem to be doomed to suffer as those who have their hands on control of the site and its resources seem unable to get along together.

I have my own thoughts on how they should be dealt with, suffice to say these people are not as important as the artefacts or memories they are supposed to be caring for, and they should be shown the door if they cannot find a way to work together. I wouldn’t normally support such a course (people in a job usually want to be there), but when something has dragged on for years, then someone has to step in and ‘bang heads together’, or operate a ‘new broom’ philosophy to save the situation.

People are already ‘jumping ship’ to get away, and probably just doing so in order to avoid ‘being pushed’.

This does the various museums, memorials, or organisations associated with the site (eg HLF) no good at all, and could end up tarring them with the same brush if bad management, personal interest, abuse of power/position, or whatever.

Here is some background reading – these item are in chronological order, as they appeared:

Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors • The Register

Bletchley Park’s bitter dispute over its future

Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into ‘geeky Disneyland’ • The Register

Bletchley Park spat ‘halts work on rare German cipher machine’ • The Register

Veterans gather for Colossus 70th anniversary

Bletchley Park board member quits amid TNMOC split-off spat • The Register

Bletchley Park board member quits amid TNMOC split-off spat • The Register

Update

Since I was moved to mention this issue, things have continued to deteriorate:

Bletchley boffins go to battle again: You said WHAT about Colossus? • The Register

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March 17, 2014 Posted by | military, World War II | , , , , | Leave a comment

Arctic Convoy naval hero leaves Bute for final journey

I was unaware of the presence of one of the recipients of the Arctic Star medal, who lived in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute until 2011, and passed his 100th birthday there.

Commander Ian Hamilton joined the Clyde division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in August 1932, then served in the Royal Navy from 1936 until 1957.

During World War II, he saw service in the Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the battles of Taranto and Matapan, the D-Day landings, and took part in the Arctic Convoys which carried supplies to Russian ports between 1941 and 1945, described by Churchill as “‘the worst journey in the world.’

His Arctic Star medal was presented at Erskine in April 2013 following approval by the Queen of an award to recognise the service of Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel. Commander Hamilton’s campaign medals already included the Naval General Service Medal, the 1939-45 Star, the Italy Star, the Africa Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, the Defence of Malta Medal and the Soviet Union’s Arctic Convoy Medal.

The body of Commander Ian Hamilton, who passed way in the Erskine home for former service personnel at Bishopton in Renfrewshire on February 9 at the age of 103, was piped on board MV Argyle, en route to his funeral at Greenock Crematorium.

Rothesay naval hero dies aged 103 – The Buteman

VIDEO: Lone piper gives Rothesay naval hero a fitting send-off – The Buteman

Seems this is another video source I can’t embed.

Fortunately, Zak was on hand to record the event (and I’m grateful for permission to use the occasional image):

February 21, 2014 Posted by | Maritime, military, Naval, World War II | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Last Nimrod named after the Duke of Edinburgh

After following the demise of the Nimrod replacement project, and then the withdrawal of the last operational Nimrod aircraft from their base in the north of Scotland, I thought all had been scrapped or disposed of in some less than desirable way.

I was, therefore, pleased to read that the last surviving Nimrod aircraft from RAF Kinloss – saved from the scrapheap after the fleet was withdrawn from service – had been formally named ‘Duke of Edinburgh’.

The XV244, which had flown out of the Scottish base since 1970 before the reconnaissance planes were disbanded in 2010, was purchased by a charitable organisation called Morayvia, set up to establish an aerospace centre in the north of Scotland.

A naming ceremony was hosted at Kinloss Barracks today and will now preserve a Royal connection to Moray’s aviation history.

Prince Philip, a supporter of a Scottish aviation museum, agreed to allow his name and heraldic standard to be displayed on the aircraft that Morayvia hopes will become the showpiece attraction in a future visitor centre.

The XV24 has a long and distinguished flying career, entering service with the RAF on November 6, 1970, as the eighth Nimrod to be delivered to the base. It was involved in numerous rescue operations, including the Piper Alpha disaster, and flew thousands of hours during its service.

Morayvia formed in July 2011 to save the last Nimrod in Moray from being scrapped when the Kinloss base was shut by the Ministry of Defence in 2010.

Granted charitable status by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in January 2012, the group

purchased XV244 from the Disposal Servces Agency in February.

Funds were raised from donations made by BAE Systems, Thales, Ultra, Rolls-Royce, and The Maritime Air Trust, as well as from individual Morayvia members.

The group also secured the front 40ft of Nimrod XV240, the former gate guardian, with a view to it forming a mobile exhibit to generate interest and income for its centre.

In 2013, the group were loaned 2 further cockpits, a Jet Provost T4 and Vampire T11, also on trailers and again attended a number of events to raise funds and awareness, venturing as far afield as RAF Waddington.

Via Last RAF Kinloss Nimrod named ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ – The Scotsman

The Nimrod was Britain’s maritime reconnaissance aircraft for some 40 years, but the aircraft flew for the last time almost four years ago, then plans to replace the type were scrapped under the UK Government’s strategic defence review, as were the aircraft being developed.

The Morayvia project is now hoping XV244 will take pride of place in its plans for a museum of flight in Moray. A temporary site has been leased from the council on the grounds of an old school, but the groups aim to secure a permanent site.

Morayvia charity given royal seal of approval in Nimrod ceremony | Aberdeen & North | News | STV

See also:

Homepage | morayvia.org.uk – Moray’s Aerospace Experience

I had a hunt for a royalty/copyright free image of the original, but came up empty, so this is an MR2 captured at Duxford in 2004. I have a liking for aircraft with their engines hidden in the wing root (as opposed to the more convenient pylon), and this version has more attractive inlets than the later MR4 variant, being elliptical rather than round.

January 15, 2014 Posted by | Aviation, Cold War, military, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Poppyscotland 2013

Looks like I have reverted to my old habit of giving Poppyscotland Home Page and Remembrance a late reminder – I think I’ll stop worrying about it.

However, and as usual, other things arose unexpectedly about a week a ago, and diverted my attention.

Poppyscotland

I’m crossing my fingers this year, as I have not been able to look at many news feeds recently, so hope that the usual stories seen in the past few years, telling of the sort of scum that steal collection boxes and money for the appeal, have actually not appeared, and not just been missed.

However, that does not mean that all is well, as we have seen a very bad year for thefts of metal from memorial and similar.

Sadly, while England has enacted new laws recently to make anonymous metal trading more difficult, Scotland is lagging behind, and has delayed moving on this, although we actually reported in last year’s article that “The Scottish Government proposed changes to the rules for scrap metal trading, removing the option of cash-in-hand payments in casual transactions“. Other than noting the deferral of this proposed deterrent, we have not noted any more positive actions against this growing theft.

Last year, we ended this with: Perhaps there will be something different to mention in a year’s time.

I’ll try something more imaginative his year…

Perhaps there will be something different to mention in a year’s time.

November 9, 2013 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Maritime, military, Naval, World War I, World War II | , , | Leave a comment

UAV flights in Scotland 2003-2013

I received an odd nudge to go look at Hansard for July 18, 2013, “You might see something interesting.”

Being a glutton for punishment, I duly trawled through a number of pages, fought off the urge to fall asleep, then came across a question on UAVs, which I guess was where I was supposed to look.

The question was asked of the UK, but this includes Scotland, so we got our little bit of info from the same pot:

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Gillingham and Rainham of 15 May 2013, Official Report, column 221W, on unmanned aerial vehicles, on how many occasions flights of unmanned aerial vehicles have taken place in each of his Department’s reserved airspace areas within the UK in each of the last 10 years; what the purpose of each such flight was; and what type of unmanned aerial vehicle was flown on each such occasion. [R] [166283]

The reply was fairly comprehensive, as follows (I’ve highlighted the relevant line):

Mr Robathan: Available information on the number and location of flights of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), either on the military register or operating under a military flight test permit, in each of the last 10 years, is provided in the following table:

UAV type Number of flights Location Purpose
2003-06 Phoenix (1) (1) (1)
2004 Buster (2) Larkhill Trials
2006 Scan Eagle 22 Hebrides Range Capability Demonstration
2009 Desert Hawk III 126 Salisbury Plain Trials and Training
2010 Desert Hawk III 184 Salisbury Plain, Stanford, Otterburn Training and conversion to Role
Watchkeeper 11 West Wales Airport Trials
2011 Desert Hawk III 564 Salisbury Plain, Stanford, Otterburn Training
Watchkeeper 83 West Wales Airport Trials and Training
Tarantula-Hawk 3 Thorney Island Training
2012 Desert Hawk III 1,180 Salisbury Plain Training
Watchkeeper 129 West Wales Airport Trials and Training
Tarantula-Hawk 11 Thorney Island Training
Scan Eagle 5 South Coast Exercise Area Trials
2013 Desert Hawk III 555 Salisbury Plain, Stanford, Otterburn Training
Watchkeeper 6 West Wales Airport French Army Training
Watchkeeper 77 West Wales Airport Trials and Training
Black Hornet (3)n/a Lydd Camp, Lossiemouth, Salisbury Plain(4) Training

(1) The Phoenix Unmanned Air System, which retired from service in 2006, was flown in UK airspace. Records of the number, location and purpose of Phoenix sorties are no longer centrally available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. (2) Records of the number of Buster sorties are no longer centrally available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. (3) Because of the way Black Hornet is used the number of sorties and flying hours are not recorded. (4) The locations identified are the primary areas in which Black Hornet has been operated. Because of the weight and size of the air vehicle and the height at which it operates, under Military Aviation Authority regulations there is no requirement to limit flights to segregated airspace.

Via House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 18 July 2013 (pt 0007)

Of 2,948 recorded flights (certain types were not recorded) , only 22 took place on the Hebrides Range, and those were class as Capability Demonstration flights.

ScanEagle

The UAV type is given as the Boeing ScanEagle (there is no space in the name, incorrectly shown in the Hansard table). The Royal Navy received its first unmanned ‘eye in the sky’ in a £30 million contract with Boeing to supply the ScanEagle reconnaissance aircraft. Built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing Defence UK Limited, the ScanEagle is the first maritime-specific unmanned air system capability to be delivered in support of naval operations. The pilotless plane has been used by the US Navy over the past decade and has been trialled by the Royal Navy, aboard frigate HMS Sutherland back in 2006.

ScanEagle has a wingspan of just over 3 metres (10 ft), a weight of 22 kg (48 lb), and is launched from a pneumatic catapult.

ScanEagle Launch

ScanEagle Launch – Boeing image via MoD web site

The UAV flies at about 60 knots and is piloted by a specialist team on board the ship who plan its missions, control its flights, and monitor and analyse the information it gathers using its sensors, which includes a video or infra-red camera. Data is transmitted to the team, including real-time high-resolution images, via a satellite link.

ScanEagle

ScanEagle – Boeing image via MoD web site

It can remain airborne some 15 to 18 hours at distances of more than 70 miles from the mother ship. Boeing information on their web site indicates that later designs will substantially increase these figures.

ScanEagle

ScanEagle – Boeing image via MoD web site

Once the mission has been completed, the UAV returns to the ship where it is captured by being flown into a cable hung vertically from an extendible arm, and is caught by hooks located at the end of each wing. It is then grappled by a recovery device and lifted on board.

ScanEagle Recovery

ScanEagle Recovery – Boeing image via MoD web site

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Aviation, military, Naval, Surveillance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

World War II is still lying around – in some places

It was nice to see our Commando and SOE (Special Operation Executive) training areas in the Highlands near Fort William get a mention in an article inspired by the occasions where old ordnance is still uncovered in unexpected places. Well, unexpected for those who haven’t been hunting the stuff for years.

In a fairly long article for the BBC, the idea of enjoying q nice wander in the countryside was tempered with:

But some of these idyllic spots hide potentially explosive secrets.

Every year, unsuspecting members of the public stumble upon dozens of undetonated shells and bombs, most dating back to World War II.

So what happened in these remote places during the war? And how much do we know about the people who lived and worked there?

Of the Scottish training, it said:

The D-Day landings of WWII were key to the liberation of German-occupied western Europe. Although bloody, brutal and chaotic, they had been rehearsed at length.

Training took place around the UK, including at Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands, where troops dodged live bullets as they practised beach assaults.

Commandos were based at Achnacarry, near Fort William, with Special Operations Executive (SOE) at Lochailort, near Mallaig.

Local coastguard Craig Burton said: “Camas an Lighe, more popularly known as Singing Sands, on the north coast bears witness to that history. The beaches and their dune system were used for live fire landings training prior to many operations, including D-Day. One in particular, known locally as number three beach, contains most of the evidence.”

He said: “Operations involved using fixed-height machine guns, fired above the troops as they landed. They returned fire as they advanced up the beach using rifles, machine guns, mortars, grenades and other ordnance.”

While most of the ordnance left over from those days has either been found or cleared, there’s still a chance that something might be uncovered, and remain hazardous, so anything found is best left alone and notified. High explosive is bad enough, but there have been mortar bombs with phosphorous, and they can be nasty if damaged.

Via On the trail of Britain’s WWII ‘explosive’ beauty spots

We have also looked at a number of these sites, and a number of SOE training schools are listed here:

Secret Scotland – Special Operations Executive

And for the Commandos:

Secret Scotland – Achnacarry House

The Commando monument at Spean Bridge now looks out over the area, in their memory.

July 2, 2013 Posted by | military, World War I, World War II | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inverbervie Cold War Radar Station up for sale again

Last placed on the market back in 2010, Inverbervie CEW Radar Station is up for sale again.

Few details are given in the news stories relating to the offer, and when we checked the agent’s web site and searched it for details, the property was not listed – in fact, it only came up with one house for sale when we asked it for all properties in Scotland with no other criteria.

Back in 2010, offers over £250,000 were being sought.

Our summary notes:

In 1953, a Centimetric Early Warning (CEW) radar station was built on the headland. Five radar systems were installed to provided coverage of the North Sea and north coast of Scotland, and give advance warning of the approach of any potential threats.

In 1968, the station was taken over by the US Navy, and operated in conjunction with the major monitoring station based at RAF Edzell, a little over 10 miles to the west. Edzell closed in 1977, followed by Inverbervie in 1978.

The facility lay unused for the next six years, until 1984, when it was designated Reserve Headquarters for Group Headquarters and Sector Control at Craigiebarns, Dundee.

The station was finally closed and withdrawn from service in 1993.

The bunker lay unused for a further six years, purchased by the current (2007) owner in 1999.

Information recorded by RCAHMS identifies aerial photographs of the location dating from 1954, 1957, 1967, and 1973, all of which show a small T shaped building on the headland, set within an area if approximately 40 m x 20 m, assumed to be the roof of an underground structure, with related structures nearby. The underground structure is further described as lying beneath what appears to be a cottage, but is actually part of the structure’s domestic infrastructure, such as water tanks. The entrance to the underground facility is reported to be protected by a blast door, with the interior provided with artificial lighting and ventilation. While being locally rumoured to date from the 1930s, the installation is recorded as having been built in 1952, with further work carried out in the 1960s when the mezzanine floor was added.

More details and some interior shots can be found on our Wiki page.

Inverbervie CEW Guardhouse

Inverbervie CEW Guardhouse 2001 © Nick Catford

As always, our thanks to Subterranea Britannica for permission to reproduce their material.

June 28, 2013 Posted by | Cold War, military | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Info sought on 1972 exercise to repair Rockall beacon

The site has received a request for help in location information relating to a small military exercise which took place on Rockall some years ago.

In 1972,  a group of marines were taken to Rockall on board RFA Engerdine, and tasked with repairing/rebuilding the damaged beacon which had been placed on the islet.

One of those involved would now like to find any information relating to this operation, to pass on to his grandchildren.

As ever, any information would be greatly appreciated, and passed on to the originator.

Rockall is not the best environment for any sort of beacon to be expected to survive in, and it seems the beacon referred to was one of four which have been established there over the years.

The last attempt seems to have been in 1998, but that too had failed by 2005, and current information is that no further attempts to mark the rock with a beacon have followed.

Via Michael’s List of Scottish Lighthouses: Section T

The picture of Rockall, dating from 2008, actually shows the latter beacon, just visible on the summit of the islet.

Rockall

Rockall © Andy Strangeway via geograph

June 7, 2013 Posted by | Appeal, Maritime, military | , | Leave a comment

Arctic Convoy exhibition opens at Edinburgh Castle

A reminder that the War Museum at Edinburgh Castle is hosting a special exhibition about the Arctic Convoys – admission is included with admission to the castle.

The date seems to have changed slightly compared to the advance news of the exhibition, when the opening date was given as May 24, 2013, and the date given now is today, May 29.

The museum’s web page does not indicate when the exhibition ends, but it was previously given as March 2014, so you don’t have to rush.

Then prime minister Winston Churchill admitted the mission to keep the supply lines of munitions, tanks, lorries, fuel and food open was “the worst journey in the world”, and they were dubbed the “suicide missions” by many of those who served on them, as the convoys had to run the gauntlet of submarine, air, and battleship attacks in harsh sub-zero conditions through the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic Convoys: 1941-45

Open daily 9:45–17:45

Material has been gathered from numerous sources, including private collections, loans from the Imperial War Museum, and museums in Russia. The exhibition will also include recordings of personal testimonies from surviving veterans of the convoys. It is often forgotten that many of those who took part in the convoys were not actually in the Royal Navy, but were simply merchant seamen or fisherman who had been called up for duty.

Those involved with efforts to establish a permanent museum to the Arctic Convoys, to be located at Loch Ewe, where many of the convoys formed and departed from, have also helped with contributions to the Edinburgh exhibition.

Jacky Brookes, manager of the Russian Arctic Convoys Museum Project in Loch Ewe, said: “We’re delighted the exhibition is happening and hope it will help raise the profile of getting a permanent museum”

We have had occasion to mention the museum project at Loch Ewe before:

Ross-shire museum call for Arctic Convoy veterans

HMS Scylla, a Dido-class cruiser of the Royal Navy, served with the Home Fleet on Arctic convoy duties, and is seen below while anchored on the Clyde:

HMS Scylla on the Clyde

HMS Scylla on the Clyde

Click on the image below to see a British Pathé short, shot in Scandinavian waters, and showing various shots of ships in a large convoy en route to Russia where:

Aboard the cruiser ‘Scylla’ Lieutenant-Commander McKean in a fur hat keeps a running commentary on the battle for the benefit of the ship’s company.

A column of black smoke rises into the sky after one of the ships is hit. The Scylla draws alongside the minesweeper ‘Harrier’. The two ships are lashed together while travelling at speed as the Scylla and takes on survivors of a torpedoed freighter.

The escort Commander, Rear Admiral Burnett, is put in breeches buoy and slung across to a destroyer so the Scylla can go ahead with survivors. C/U of Burnett on a ship, smiling and looking through binoculars.

May 29, 2013 Posted by | Maritime, military, Naval, Transport, World War II | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pssst!… Want to know some secret French stuff?

Antenna tower

This sort of story always has me near helpless on the floor with laughter…

Those who, in theory at least, should be a lot smarter, have yet to grasp the concept of how the greatest creator of publicity for something, anything, is to demand it is given privacy.

The French Secret Service is certainly a stranger to the concept, as are most people who demand privacy. After all, isn’t the best and cheapest way for a waste-of-skin celebrity to get their unwanted faces plastered across the media for them simply to start up some gripe about not being given privacy?

In this case, the French seem to be demanding that Wikipedia take down a page (from 2009, four years ago!) that they seem to have suddenly developed some sort of phobia over:

French agents at the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI), apparently turning their attention to Wikipedia for the first time in years, demanded last month that the Wikimedia Foundation delete an entry about a military radio relay station written in 2009.

When Wikimedia refused, the DCRI approached a French man with administrative editing rights on Wikipedia about taking down the page. The man told them that he had no involvement with the page’s creation or hosting. And that his mother told him not to talk to strangers.

Via French Secret Service Freaks Out About Seemingly Nonexistent Military Secrets On Wikipedia | Gizmodo UK

There’s even a video of the chief of the radio relay station, station hertzienne militaire de Pierre sur Haute, giving an interview about the station’s operations, and taking a reporter on a tour of the facilities.

This one warms up a sore spot I have, and would almost post a pic just to get revenge, but the house and location are too recognisable and the incident too recent – I just had an altercation with a home owner who came running up to me and asked me what I thought I was doing. I though I was standing in a public street taking photographs of some interesting decorations, but he seemed to think I was taking pictures of his house, was interfering with his children (who were at school at the time of day concerned), and even threw worrying his wife into the pot at one point.

I pointed out, and showed him (aren’t digital cameras wonderful?) that I had not even caught his hovel in any of my shots, let alone take any pictures of it, but regardless, we did not part the best of friends.

Yes folks… there are still nut jobs out there, fuelled by the dregs of the media and their alarmist stories carrying tales of evil people openly carrying cameras in public.

Just wait until they learn about miniature hidden cameras and phones that have cameras built in, and can even take moving pictures, so people can wander about taking covert pics and not even be noticed.

 

 

April 8, 2013 Posted by | military | , , , , | Leave a comment

Exercise Joint Warrior JW 131 2013 starts soon

The twice yearly military exercises of Joint Warrior are due to begin in various area in and around Scotland, on land and sea, are due to begin soon, and always generate interest in those keen to pop out and grab some pics of the participants, usually as they gather in the Firth of Clyde, but also as they move around the country.

The exercises usually start with the maritime element in April, and the notification is given below.

The second part of the exercise will take place in October.

Joint Warrior (JW) 131, will take place from 15 until 29 April 2013 and will comprise of a programme of exercises conducted by land forces, warships, submarines and aircraft across the UK. The maritime element (15 until 25 April) is focussed in the offshore and coastal waters to the north east, north and north west of Scotland.

See the note issued by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff…

JTEPS JW131 18 March 2013 JOINT WARRIOR 131 SUBMARINE, MINEWARFARE, LIVE FIRING AND DENIAL OF GPS TRAINING ACTIVITY:

JW112 Brief to FV Ferry – 20130301-JW131-Brief-for-fishing-vessels-and-ferries-U-SOSM.pdf  

The fun could be deemed to have started already, as Loch Striven has just seen some exercises have just taken place off the Isle of Bute:

Zak caught HMS Brocklesby on Wednesday, one of eight Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels based in Portsmouth (launched in 1982 and commissioned 13 months later), which had been joined by  HMS Pembroke, a Sandown-class minehunter based at HMNB Clyde at Faslane, for an exercise with a Dassault jet in the area off Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne, where the sound of gunfire caught folk’s attention (seems the local paper went for a look, but was way behind ‘our’ favourite photographer):

Rafale vs minesweepers

Dassault Falcon 20E – G-FRAD vs minesweepers – © Zak – Click image for original

Smoky minesweeper

Smoky minesweeper – HMS Brocklesby – © Zak – Click image for original

Best part of a week behind SeSco, the media has finally woken up and mentioned JW!

More than 5,000 UK personnel are to take part in the largest military exercise in Europe this year, the MoD has said.

Exercise Joint Warrior will test their ability to work together with the forces of nine other countries.

It will take place across Scotland from 15 to 29 April and will involve 5,250 UK military personnel.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the exercise will ensure the forces are prepared “to meet any challenge”.

“They give us the chance to test the way the different services and different nations work together, something that is vital in a multilateral world,” he added.

The exercise will involve 13,000 military personnel in total, including forces from Sweden, Germany, Brazil and the US.

There will be an airborne assault and amphibious landings as well as training in counter-insurgency, counter-piracy and interstate war.

49 ships from various navies as well as up to 40 aircraft will be involved, including RAF Tornados and Typhoons.

The Royal Marine Commandos will make a landing at Barry Buddon training camp in Angus, near Dundee.

Further activities will take place near Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, where all nearby residents have been informed and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) expects it will cause “no real disruption”.

Live ammunition will be used in certain exercises, on cleared ranges where it poses no risk.

Via UK deploying 5,250 personnel for Exercise Joint Warrior (April 11, 2013.)

April 6, 2013 Posted by | Maritime, military | , , , , , | 4 Comments

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