16/02/2012 12:25 GMT | Updated 17/04/2012 06:12 BST

British Army Commander Meets French Counterpart On Joint Training Exercise

The commander of the Army's land forces met British and French soldiers on a joint training exercise today.

General Nick Parker and his French counterpart, Lieutenant General Herve Charpentier, Commander Forces de Terrestres, joined an infantry company from 5 Scots and the French Army Parachute Company from the French 11th Parachute Brigade at Otterburn Training Area in Northumberland.

The Scots, formerly the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, put the French forces through their paces as part of Exercise Boar's Head - part of the continuing relationship between French and British Army units following the signing of the Defence and Security Co-operation Treaty by Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2010.

It gave the French soldiers an opportunity to simulate attacks using live ammunition, and to learn the skills and tactics of their British counterparts.

Gen Parker said: "As soldiers, what we need to have is situational understanding.

"We must understand the environment in which we are operating so that we can make fast decisions, communicate them quickly, and then engage the target if that is the appropriate thing to do.

"Any system that allows you to do that more effectively is a good system.

"There are differences in equipment, and you tend to fight according to the way in which the equipment has been designed, and there are language and cultural differences.

"I think what has surprised me is that the outcomes and the objectives we are trying to achieve are very, very similar and the similarities and the desire to work together are far stronger than the differences."