I wouldn't normally show any great interest in a routine Exercise but the recent hysteria over the Rock caused me to glance at it; Cougar 13 | Royal Navy

It occurred to me that air defence capability is conspicuous by its absence. Will our cross Atlantic and cross Channel allies be providing it as the Group progresses Eastwards? I didn't see any Air Force component to the Exercise.


Lantern Swinger
Well that will work well when the enemy give sufficient notice of an attack for the flying time from Blighty not to matter. Always knew 6 T45 replacing 12 T42 would bite in the bum, just didn't think it would be this quick.

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War Hero
Because we've been under constant air attack for decades while transiting the med?
Or because this is an amphib exercise and while AD is nice, we dont have enough ships to do everything at once?
Indeed, in the peacetime real world there is no perceivable Air threat and we have Allies all the way from Portugal to Turkey. In the exercise synthetic world, though, would we really expect an amphibious assault without the opposition pitching offensive Air against the TG? Unless, of course we are only going up against the likes of Sierra Leone and Senegal.

It seems odd that we are exercising an amphibious assault structured Group that doesn't anticipate that the likely opposition will probably have air assets. More Nations have an Air capability than have a Sub-surface one, yet the TG is oozing ASW. The point
we don't have enough ships to do everything at once
is probably about right but AD isn't just “nice”, the lack of it could really ruin your day. That's why I'm asking if any AD the TG will/should have for the Exercise will be Septic/Frog.


War Hero
The Amphibious Task Group (ATG) does not normally have dedicated Anti Air Warfare (AAW) cover, that is provided by the Maritime Component Commander (MCC) as required based on the mission. The MCC would look at the best means of providing AAW cover as needed based on many, many factors. Sometime they may get a dedicated Air Defence ship or maybe combat aircraft etc. Also it will depend on if a Joint Operational Area (JOA) with tactical areas is in place or if a specific Amphibious Operational Area (AOA) is in place as to how this AD support is provided and the Command and Control (C2) chain in place.

As the Type 45 has turned upside down our understanding of Fleet Air Defence with the step change in capability it is now seen as a true Area Air Defender and so will be multi tasked with ATG air defence, the whole maritime Task Group AD and even Theatre AD and Ballistic Missile Defence.

So in the real world they may or may not get a dedicated AAW ship and for this deployment no Type 45 was available (they are doing other operational stuff) so there you are. I do know that we ask other nations to contribute (for TAURUS 09 we have a USN ship under our command for the whole thing) as it gives them the chance to practice Task Group stuff.

Would we prefer more Type 45 and have a few dedicated to the ATG - yes. But we don't and we have to play with the cards we are dealt with.


Lantern Swinger
Did Cougar last year with the Charles De Gaulle and USS Theodore Roosevelt, sure similar carriers will be involved with this one too.
It isn't an exercise it is a Deployment. You don't send a Task Group through the Med, Suez and into the Gulf 'for exercise'. There are a number of 'exercises' taking place during the 'deployment' and I imagine someone will be keel hauled for the paragraph heading 'The Exercise'.


War Hero
Of course the Joint, sorry Army, don't get it anyway. If you are not doing Afgan it is nothing, man.....

People forget that this is what we, the Naval Service, has been doing for, like, ever. When we leave the wall and set sail, even for a port to port passage we are on Ops. We are adding to the wider maritime situational awareness and understanding picture as well as available at immediately notice for contingent operations and actions.

But obviously that is all irrelevant as we are not in Afgan.

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