UK — Devonport plays host to international relief exercise

Ships from four coun­tries have spent the past week get­ting to grips with dis­as­ter relief train­ing at Devon­port Naval Base in Ply­mouth.

French ship FS Primauguet (left) and HMS Kent at Devonport Naval Base
French ship FS Pri­mau­guet (left) and HMS Kent at Devon­port Naval Base
Source: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Dan Hoop­er, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The ships — FS Pri­mau­guet from France, RFS Severo­morsk from Rus­sia, HMS Kent from the UK, and USS Mount Whit­ney from Amer­i­ca — spent the week exer­cis­ing togeth­er at sea and on land in the spe­cif­ic train­ing area at the naval base. 

FRUKUS 10 is an annu­al quadri­lat­er­al exer­cise which was orig­i­nal­ly estab­lished in 1988 as a means of enhanc­ing oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty and under­stand­ing between the four countries. 

The exer­cise is now the cor­ner­stone of navy-to-navy coop­er­a­tion with Russia. 

The sce­nario for this year’s exer­cise took the form of a hur­ri­cane dis­as­ter and the teams had to offer human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and med­ical treat­ment to casu­al­ties, as well as cop­ing with flash fires, flood­ing and san­i­ta­tion problems. 

Dur­ing the exer­cise the task group had to cook and pro­vide lunch to the casu­al­ties and vis­i­tors in a field kitchen type scenario. 

Rear Admi­ral Chris Snow said: 

“The spe­cif­ic objec­tives of the exer­cise this year will focus on oper­at­ing togeth­er as a task group and the shar­ing of information. 

“This is not easy giv­en the dif­fer­ent meth­ods and equip­ments which nations use to main­tain a mar­itime picture. 

“We will also engage in a dis­as­ter relief exer­cise to sim­u­late arriv­ing in a neu­tral coun­try short­ly after a hur­ri­cane to pro­vide assis­tance to local authorities.” 

Naval crews train­ing togeth­er in a dis­as­ter relief themed exer­cise
Source: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Dan Hoop­er, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The host coun­try for the exer­cise rotates annu­al­ly with last year’s exer­cise being held in France and next year Amer­i­ca will host FRUKUS 11. 

First Sea Lord, Admi­ral Sir Mark Stan­hope, said: 

“I am delight­ed to once again wel­come naval per­son­nel from France, Rus­sia, and the US to the Unit­ed King­dom for FRUKUS 10. 

“This is a tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty for the four navies, who already oper­ate togeth­er in counter-pira­cy mis­sions, to devel­op their skills in the con­text of a real­is­tic and con­tem­po­rary exercise. 

“The Roy­al Navy is always very keen to pro­mote part­ner­ships and strength­en our links with mar­itime forces around the globe. 

“A com­mon inter­na­tion­al approach to issues such as human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and peace­keep­ing sup­port oper­a­tions is very impor­tant, and both will be exer­cised in FRUKUS 10.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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