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NATO Response Force Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION Concludes

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – The two week NATO Response Force certification exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION’s maritime component concluded Saturday off the coast of Spain, as the ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from 14 NATO Allies and two NATO partner nations began to take stock of the lessons the exercise provided for future operations.

The exercise took place in the Southeast coast of Spain, both in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and certified the Spanish Maritime Forces as NATO’s Response Force (NRF) maritime component for 2015.  NOBLE JUSTIFICATION involved more than two dozen ships and submarines, as well as helicopters, AV-8B Harrier jets, maritime patrol aircraft, B-52 Stratofortress bombers and more than 5000 Sailors and Marines.

During the early phases of the exercise, participants focused on training in asymmetric multi-threat and conventional maritime warfare operations to enhance interoperability. The challenging tasks ranged from gunnery practice to anti-submarine and anti-aircraft drills and mine clearing exercises.

The participating units were next tested to ensure they met the standards of the NRF during phase three, where they responded to a complicated crisis response scenario over the final five days of exercise. The intensive training helped participants to work more closely and efficiently together, which will be essential to their readiness to meet future challenges.

Ashore in Northwood, the exercise control cell (EXCON) at NATO Allied Maritime Command received a essential support from 19 personnel from other NATO Headquarters and Allied countries, many of them reservists, to ensure the EXCON supported and challenged the forces deployed afloat and ashore in the Mediterranean exercise area.

"Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION clearly demonstrated to the members of the Alliance that NATO is capable, is at high readiness and will safeguard the security of all members," said Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command. "It also reminds potential adversaries that we remain the world’s foremost military alliance, able to deliver what is demanded by our leaders. I would like to thank Rear Admiral Juan Rodriguez and his supporting units for the stunning job leading this big event.”

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