Exercise Dragon

The UK’s Lead Armoured Battle Group (LABG) is participating in a multi-national NATO exercise, code-named Exercise Dragon, in Poland.

Involving up to 10,000 troops from the five participating nations, including Canada, Germany, Poland, the US and the UK, the five-week exercise enables allies to practise and test multinational, joint combined arms manoeuvres at the divisional level.

The drill exercises Polish divisional and brigade headquarters, while also allowing integrated training at the company and battlegroup level by UK, Polish, German and US force elements.

In addition to delivering significant training value, the exercise underlines Nato’s purpose of collective defence, is also is designed to provide assurance to eastern allies.

Carried out at the Drawsko Pomorski Training Area, the first phase was a UK-only exercise, while the ongoing second phase at the Orzysz Training area, involves all five nations.

Exercise Dragon is said to provide the UK with an opportunity to test the readiness of its forces as the country prepares to lead Nato’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2017.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "In a darker and more dangerous world, it is vital that we work with our NATO allies so we can respond to any threat.

"The exercise will help preparations for Nato’s new rapid reaction taskforce, which the UK will provide troops for every year into the next decade and which we will lead in 2017."

"It is vital that we work with our NATO allies so we can respond to any threat."

The UK has deployed around 800 troops for the exercise, along with more than 130 vehicles, including Challenger 2 main battle tanks and Warrior infantry armoured fighting vehicles.

Commanding officer lieutenant colonel Andrew Garner, 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment said: "The Polish terrain adds a different dimension to our training which we can’t achieve in the UK.

"Working so closely with our Nato allies has been great training for the guys."

Exercise Dragon started in September and will run until the end of this month.

Image: Soldiers in action during Exercise Dragon in Poland. Photo: Crown Copyright.