A team of analytic specialists from Dstl are providing vital analysis to support military commanders in Europe’s largest military exercise, Exercise Joint Warrior…

Lead by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), Exercise Joint Warrior is a multi-national military training exercise which takes place in the UK, predominately in the north-west of Scotland and on Salisbury Plain.

Dstl’s guidance is crucial for military leaders to understand the risks and benefits of the decisions they make when planning tactical activities and maneuvers during conflict.

Thousands of military personnel take part in the exercise from across the UK services, as well as those from NATO and other allied countries. It involves 38 naval vessels, 68 aircraft and a large number ground units. Operations include airborne assaults, amphibious landing and training in counter-insurgency, counter-piracy and interstate warfare.

Among the team of analysts from Dstl is Richard Hoyes, he said: “Seeing your hard work and analysis influence a commander’s decisions is great; though, clearly there is a serious edge to all of the work involved; it is also good fun. At the start of the exercise I was in an airfield with hundreds of paratroopers who were prepping to deploy as per a real conflict. There were a lot of helicopters and fast jets; it all makes for a very meaningful and realistic experience.”

The team is among more than 30 members of Dstl staff who are trained and ready to deploy anywhere in the world in support of military operations and exercises; all at a moment’s notice.

Richard added: “On this joint operation, the Army, RAF and Navy work together as a team. You can gain great insight into a breadth of capabilities due to the fascinating mix of cultures with the likes of Danish, Lithuanian and Latvians among the nationalities working alongside UK personnel. This is the second exercise of this type that I have done and I have already developed working relations with other nations.”

Dstl also has a 24-hour, 365-day ‘reachback’ capability, which provides rapid access to the breadth and depth of Dstl’s capabilities in support of military operations, not just with analysis but could include anything from computer modelling and highly detailed scientific advice to a review of previous research studies for similar issues.