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NATO Forces Gather in the Mediterranean for the World’s Largest Annual Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise

JFC Naples Press Release {03}
{25 02 05}

Ten NATO nations will provide six submarines, ten maritime patrol aircraft and 16 surface ships to take part in NOBLE MARLIN 05 (NM 05), the world’s largest anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise from 03 to 16 March 2005.

The exercise will take place in the Ionian Sea to the Southeast of Sicily. Forces are provided by Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Six submarines from France (1), Germany (1), Greece (1), Spain (1) and Turkey (2) are scheduled to join the exercise. Each submarine will have the opportunity of being a hunter as well as the prey. NATO surface ships from Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Group 2 will take part, as well as a French Frigate and surface ships from the Italian Maritime Force (ITMARFOR).

The exercise will demonstrate NATO’s determination to maintain proficiency in coordinated anti-submarine, anti-surface, and coastal surveillance operations using a multi-national force of ships, submarines and aircraft. In addition to traditional submarine roles and missions, this year submarine capabilities will also be exercised in support of defence against terrorism.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Canada, France, Italy, Portugal and the United States of America will operate from Sigonella, Sicily. Italian shore-based ASW helicopters from Fontanarossa, Sicily will also participate. Over 65 air missions are planned, and on average this will result in a crew briefing every four hours, day and night, throughout the exercise. NM 05 will be directed from the co-located multi-national Headquarters of the Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces and the Commander Maritime Air Naples, Italy.

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