The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales took its place at the center of one of the world’s strongest naval task forces at the start of the biggest Arctic exercise in 30 years, GOV.UK explained.
HMS Prince of Wales, which currently serves as a command ship for NATO, sailed north to the North Pole for Exercise Cold Response 2022, a month-long test of Allied forces in which 30,000 soldiers from around the world will work together in .27 countries.
The regular exercise, which takes place every two years and begins planning in December 2020, will include more than double the 14,000 personnel planned for Exercise Cold Response 2020.
Over the weekend, a task force of 25 ships from 11 countries gathered near Norway to begin training, including six Royal Navy ships and more than 2,000 British troops.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“The Arctic has become an area of increasing military competition and the security of the region has become directly linked to our national security.
Exercise Cold Response is a demonstration of NATO’s ability to operate and compete in one of the most challenging environments in the world and a demonstration of how a multinational force can defend Europe’s northern flank .
HMS Prince of Wales joined the Cold Response Task Force shortly after air defense exercises in the North Sea alongside four British F-35B Lightning aircraft from 617 Squadron, Dambusters on Friday 11 March.
RAF aircraft took part in a combat air exercise, held by two Royal Navy combat observers on HMS Prince of Wales over the skies over the eastern UK and the North Sea.
The F-35B engaged eight “aggressor” aircraft, allowing it to refine tactics between ships and fighter aircraft.
As HMS Prince of Wales continued its journey north of the Arctic, No. 207 Squadron RAF flew two F-35Bs as the carrier sailed alongside USS Mount Whitney and USS The Sullivans .
The British Strike Force Commander embarked on HMS Prince of Wales and is responsible for commanding NATO’s High Readiness Naval Force, an international task force formed to deal with major world events , and is first published in this post for Cold Answer.