More than British 1,600 troops will head to the Middle East to practise an Iraq invasion-scale operation for the first time in more than a decade.
The logistics war game in Jordan aims to ensure the Army can still deploy a 30,000-strong force of tanks and troops to a crisis zone anywhere in the world, despite sharp defence cuts in the past five years.
Exercise Shamal Storm could be a dry run for one day having to send a large armoured force of British troops to Eastern Europe if there was ever a Russian confrontation with Nato, sources said.
It comes after American commanders last year said they were concerned defence cuts would mean Britain was no longer be able to send a division-strength force of troops to join an allied operation as it did during the Iraq 2003 campaign.
More than 300 military vehicles are being shipped to the Jordan, where logistics, medical, intelligence and bomb disposal experts will practise supporting a massive British military expedition.
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