Royal Navy: HMS Prince of Wales at centre of intense and huge multinational Nato exercises in demanding role

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Royal Navy's most powerful warship is at the centre of large scale Nato exercises near Norway.

HMS Prince of Wales is leading the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG) on operations near the Norwegian ice-cold fjords. She recently completed Exercise Joint Warrior, which involved Canadian, Spanish, Danish and British ships sailing in formation and carrying out other operations. The 65,000 tonne vessel replaced her beleaguered sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth following a fault to her propeller shaft coupling - with a fire breaking out on her way to Scotland.

Now she is at the forefront of Exercise Steadfast Defender, Nato's largest operation since The Cold War. She was joined by more than 30 ships, four submarines, multiple aircraft from maritime patrol to F-35 Lightning jets and more than 20,000 personnel from nations including Canada, Denmark, France and Spain. Surface, air and land scenarios were were played out in the UK-led phase of the operation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
RFA TIDESURGE OPERHHMS Prince of Wales is heading the UK Carrier Strike Group on Exercise Steadfast Defender. Pictured is a Merlin Mk2 helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron with RFA Tidespring and HMS Prince of Wales in the background. Picture: LPhot Belinda Alker/Royal NavyRFA TIDESURGE OPERHHMS Prince of Wales is heading the UK Carrier Strike Group on Exercise Steadfast Defender. Pictured is a Merlin Mk2 helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron with RFA Tidespring and HMS Prince of Wales in the background. Picture: LPhot Belinda Alker/Royal Navy
RFA TIDESURGE OPERHHMS Prince of Wales is heading the UK Carrier Strike Group on Exercise Steadfast Defender. Pictured is a Merlin Mk2 helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron with RFA Tidespring and HMS Prince of Wales in the background. Picture: LPhot Belinda Alker/Royal Navy | Royal Navy
HMS Prince of Wales replaced HMS Queen Elizabeth in leading the UK Carrier Strike Group. Picture: LPhot Belinda Alker.HMS Prince of Wales replaced HMS Queen Elizabeth in leading the UK Carrier Strike Group. Picture: LPhot Belinda Alker.
HMS Prince of Wales replaced HMS Queen Elizabeth in leading the UK Carrier Strike Group. Picture: LPhot Belinda Alker. | Royal Navy

Training regimes were delivered and conducted by the Royal Navy’s Joint Exercise Training and Planning Staff (JTEPS). Commodore Andrew Ingham, Commander Fleet Operational Standards and Training, said: “JTEPS, as the formation level training arm of FOST, deliver high end and realistic multi-domain warfare training to UK, NATO and partner nation Maritime Task groups. By conducting large scale multinational exercises, such as Nordic Response, JTEPS are able to strive for maximum lethality and readiness.”

AS1 Amber Mayall RAF

"Through careful planning, effective orchestrating and detailed evaluation we are able to ensure that the alliance’s most powerful naval assets are consistently challenged against realistic and credible threat scenarios. Their work supporting the largest NATO exercise in 50 years is absolutely crucial to ensuring that we are prepared for the challenges and threats of modern era.”

ET(CIS) Marshall said Exercise Joint Warrior was the first time he worked alongside other nations. He added: "Being here for me will be different from everyone else’s experiences, as I came straight here out of training. Most people here have already spent time at sea practising their role, but this opportunity has really helped me consolidate what I have learnt in training within an international setting.” Maritime reservists supported personnel on the exercise.

Sub Lieutenant Derek Player, Submarine Controller and Royal Navy reservist, said: "It is a demanding role. We are working in a multi-disciplinary and international team representing UK, Norwegian, German and French Navies who have submarines participating in the exercise. While initially daunting, coming into such a fast-paced real-world environment, the support and experience around me has built my confidence and prepared me for the next stage of my training to take on more responsibility as my career develops.” Exercise Steadfast Defender continues in Norway, with the focus being passed onto amphibious operations in the Arctic Circle.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.