French and British troops invade Stranraer
About 1,300 soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s rapid reaction force, and 300 French troops from the 11e Brigade Parachutiste arrived by air in the West Freugh airfield.
The training drill saw the two forces practise parachute jumps and a rapid landing.
A joint force from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) and the French 1er Regiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes (1er RCP) also parachuted in to capture Castle Kennedy airfield.
It is all part of practising their “theatre entry phase” of Exercise Joint Warrior, a major military drill this month involving forces from the UK, US, France, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Holland.
Securing the airfields marks the beginning of training that will confirm the two brigades’ readiness to deploy together at short notice on contingency operations, ranging from disaster relief to war fighting.
It also provides a final training opportunity for the 2 PARA battlegroup ahead of taking on the Air Assault Task Force role from May.
Exercise Joint Warrior is the largest military exercise in Europe planned this year, involving nearly 13,000 military personnel from nine countries - including 5,250 from the UK - more than 30 warships and over 65 aircraft and helicopters.
Taking place twice a year, the training aims to test how the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force work together and with allied forces.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Exercises of this type ensure that our armed forces are prepared to meet any challenge.
“They give us the chance to test the way the different services and different nations work together, something that is vital in a multilateral world.”