Major Anglo-French naval drill

British and French troops joined forces for a major naval exercise on Friday to test the capability of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force - a defence pact between the two nations. The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was present.

Live updates

British and French Marines join forces in defence exercise

British and French troops joined forces for a series of naval exercises on Friday.

The exercise saw British Marines from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines train alongside their French counterparts in amphibious landing techniques from British craft.

Members of the French 9th Marine Corps Brigade training on the French Island of Corsica Credit: PO(Phot) Sean Clee/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

The training took place on Solenzaro Beach on the French island of Corsica as part of Exercise Corsican Lion.

Members of the Second Infantry Regiment of the French Marine Corps taking part in the exercise Credit: PO(Phot) Sean Clee/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Corsican Lion is the first Maritime test of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force - a defence agreement between the French and the British - by demonstrating its ability to project power from the sea.

Royal Marines and French Marines rehearse amphibious landings Credit: LA(Phot) Joel Rouse/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire
A British landing vehicle in action Credit: LA(Phot) Joel Rouse/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Advertisement

Defence Secretary inspects Anglo-French naval exercise

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was present for a major Anglo-French naval exercise involving around a quarter of the British fleet.

The Navy flagship HMS Bulwark was the centre of attention in the drills that were designed to test both nations' naval response to unexpected world events at short notice.

HMS Bulwark Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

It was one of the first joint exercises under the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) - an initiative agreed in 2010 to work more closely with French allies.

A French naval landing craft docks with HMS Bulwark during the joint naval exercise Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Hammond: 'Corsican Lion will give us additional force'

Mr Hammond and Mr Le Drian visited French aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle, then were briefed by officers at HMS Bulwark.

Mr Hammond said the exercise was symbolic of the promise made in 2010.

It's a real, concrete delivery of that collaboration in the form of an enhanced military capability that gives our two countries additional force, additional capabilities to project military power in support of our national policies and international obligations.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports