Preparations are beginning for the second annual NATO exercise, Joint Warrior, scheduled to begin on Saturday (October 5th).

The major multi-national exercise is led by combined UK forces and involves troops and military hardware from nations including the US, Norway, France and Spain. Up to 10,000 troops are reportedly expected to be involved in the second of this year’s exercises.

Most activity happens well offshore, though local marine users are advised by the Royal Navy to be aware of elements of the exercise which they may encounter.

Stornoway Coastguard broadcasts briefings on military activity at 7.10am and 7.10pm each day of the exercise. A Fisherman’s Hotline telephone number is available 24-hours a day through the exercise, on 01923 846364.

There will be submarine, mine-warfare and live firing activity between October 5th and 17th, with a programme of exercises conducted by land forces, warships, submarines and aircraft across the UK. The maritime element includes activity in the offshore and coastal waters north west of Scotland.

A Royal Navy statement said: “Exercise Joint Warrior is the largest military exercise in Europe, bringing together the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the British Army, as well as forces from other nations.

“This massive multinational war exercise involves warships, aircraft, marines and troops from UK, NATO and allied forces. The exercise doesn’t only allow participating units to hone their specialist roles within a larger war-style setting – it also helps foster vital links between the UK, NATO and other allied militaries.

“The aim is to provide a complex environment in which the participants can train together, honing tactics and skills in preparation for deployment as a Combined Joint Task Force.”