The exercise will see 22 warships from the UK, USA, Germany, Spain, France, and others taking part in a sub hunt for Cutlass Fury 2019. The 11-day exercise will require HMS Northumberland to travel 3,000 miles to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the tactical training event.
This year’s operation is the largest yet and will focus on tactical training and the combining of equipment and practices. The exercise will include some ships acting as submarines and participants will also practice amphibious operations, board and search, and air defence.
Commander Devonport Floatilla Commodore Rob Bellfield said: “HMS Northumberland joining the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike task group is a key milestone in developing the integrated task group capability that will be the centrepiece of Royal Navy operations for the future.”
“HMS Northumberland’s anti-submarine warfare capability will enhance the task group’s ability to project maritime power – and it’s a clear demonstration of the role that Devonport-based Type 23 frigates have in supporting carrier operations.”
HMS Northumberland’s first task will be to shield a carrier task force as the HMS Queen Elizabeth releases F-35 Lightning Stealth Fighters. Their ship will be joined by Type 45 air-defence destroyer HMS Dragon, Merlin helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RNAS Yeovilton, as well as Wildcats from 815 Naval Air Squadron.
RFA Tideforce will provide tanker support – fuel, stores, food and fresh water if necessary – and Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, based in Plymouth and a medical team will also be embarked in the carrier. The waters around Halifax will be challenging due to traffic and temperamental weather conditions which can include icebergs at certain points of the year and heavy fog.
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