The British army will test its ability to deploy forces on a massive scale during an exercise in Jordan this month, a British newspaper has reported.
The exercise, Shamal Storm, will simulate a division-size deployment of about 30,000 forces, an undertaking unseen by the British army in more than a decade, The Telegraph said in a story published Sunday. Sources cited by the newspaper framed the exercise as a response to recent American criticism that the British were unprepared for a major campaign-style deployment after years of defense cuts.
More than 1,600 British troops will practice “theater-entry tactics” in hostile territory, rehearsing in a stretch of southwestern desert in Jordan, the paper reported. The logistical challenge of moving hundreds of vehicles into the country from the port of Aqaba is a focus of the exercise.
The exercise has more application to the situation in Ukraine, where Russian-backed forces are battling Ukraine’s government, than in nearby Syria, the article quoted unidentified sources as saying.
U.S. Army forces have participated in the event in the past, in small numbers. A bomb disposal platoon from Fort Drum, N.Y., joined British forces last year. The U.S. Marines also hold a similar exercise, called Eager Lion, annually in southwestern Jordan.