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Military exercise in York

Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall

12:01am 6th September 2011

Soldiers from four countries in Australasia and the Far East will arrive in York today (Tuesday 6th September 2011) for a large international military exercise.

Over 200 soldiers will take part in Exercise Suman Warrior 11, an exercise designed to introduce them to the UK Military Aid to the Civil Authorities procedures during crises such as flooding and severe weather.  

Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia are all part of the Five Powers Defence Arrangement (FPDA) which was set up in 1971 - this year is its 40th anniversary and the turn of the UK to host its annual exercise.

The exercise begins with a formal opening ceremony and parade at Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall on Tuesday 6th September where the flags of the participating countries will be raised and their national anthems played by the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band.

The salute will be taken by Major General David Shaw, the General Officer Commanding 2nd Division covering Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England.

The foreign troops will be based at Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Strensall and will be introduced to the role and equipment of the emergency services in Cleveland and Humberside.

They will also hear from the region's leading experts in contingency planning and emergency response, touring the area in order to get an understanding of the lie of the land.

They will then tackle the challenge of a three day problem solving exercise using the knowledge they have gained and practising procedures.

The visit is being hosted by 15 (North East) Brigade, the largest regional brigade in the UK covering from the Scottish Borders to South of the Humber East of the Pennines.

The Brigade's headquarters is in Imphal Barracks York and it has assisted the emergency services and local authorities many times over the years when flooding has hit the region, providing manpower and equipment such as helicopters and boats.

Brigadier Greville Bibby, the Army's senior commander for Yorkshire and the North East.

"All the visiting nations have had to deal with or play a part in humanitarian and disaster relief operations." 

"This high profile exercise offers us the opportunity to showcase the UK's ability to provide military aid to the civil authorities and we stand prepared to assist in crises such as flooding or severe weather should the need arise.

"We are delighted to host our colleagues from Australasia and the Far East with whom we work on many exercises and operations. I hope that Exercise Suman Warrior 11 will provide the opportunity to refine our working procedures and further develop our good working relationship."

The Five Power Defence Arrangement has evolved in light of the developing global security situation and it remains a crucial forum for promoting dialogue and interoperability.

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