Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Ben Key and Commander of UK Maritime Forces Rear Admiral Alex Burton hosted the first Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) conference.
Topics discussed included JEF(M) leadership in the Baltic Sea and increased collaboration in the North Atlantic to support NATO.
Commodore Andrew Burns said:
“This deployment is a hugely important task for the Royal Navy, and for Defence, demonstrating our ability to deploy and operate worldwide, engaging closely with our allies and standing ready for whatever a deployment to an area of strategic interest to the UK can present.”
The aim of the JEF is to create a UK military framework,’focused around its existing high readiness capabilities’, that partners can join up with. While it is the UK’s intention to fully integrate the UK’s JEF partners’ contributions before 2018, the JEF could deploy immediately if required according to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
It is designed with the following requirements in mind:
a. act jointly and with allies, but able to act alone
b. be well equipped, but not tied to platforms
c. adapt as the environment changes
Rear Admiral Burton said:
“It was a real privilege to meet the naval commanders from our JEF partner nations for the first time. I look forward to strengthening our working relationship in the future.”
The Royal Navy were keen to point out that the JEF can also integrate into larger international force, such as NATO for a multinational response to a strategic threat.