UK-led Venerable Gauntlet exercise commences in Sennelager, Germany

15 September 2016 (Last Updated September 15th, 2016 18:30)

Military personnel from the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain and other Nato allies have commenced the Venerable Gauntlet exercise in Sennelager, Germany, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Military personnel from the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain and other Nato allies have commenced the Venerable Gauntlet exercise in Sennelager, Germany, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The UK-led exercise is aimed at improving the interoperability between different units within the framework of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF 17) Brigade.

This Brigade level event, with 3,000 participating troops from 14 Nato nations, is said to be the first major exercise before the UK takes the lead in a Nato multinational force in 2017.

VJTF will be deployed to protect Nato allies from potential threats and acts of aggression.

The UK is to commit 1,000 troops a year to the taskforce until 2020, the MoD said in a statement.

UK Defence Minister Earl Howe said: “The UK is one of the leading members of Nato, standing ready to defend partners in Eastern Europe against any threat.

"By participating in exercises such as these, we are sending a clear message that we are committed to European security."

"By participating in exercises such as these, we are sending a clear message that we are committed to European security.

“Today, I have seen first-hand the contribution British forces are making to reassurance our Nato allies that we are ready to protect them at a moment’s notice.”

The exercise will also witness participation from 25 light vehicles, 32 fighting vehicles, four Sapper vehicles, three light gun artillery units, 22 high-mobility terrain vehicles, and ten light multirole vehicles.

Soldiers will use two Spike AGTM launchers, two 88mm mortars, one 12.70mm Barrett rifle and three accuracy rifles during the exercise.

As part of its commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence, the UK will deploy 500 more personnel to Estonia and up to 150 personnel to Poland, as well as train thousands of Ukrainian soldiers by the end of March 2017.


Image: The UK forces are leading Venerable Gauntlet exercise in Sennelager, Germany. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.