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Feb 3 2022

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Participates in Neptune Strike 22


MEDITERRANEAN SEA – Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) is participating in Neptune Strike 22 (NS22) from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 in the central Mediterranean Sea.

The exercise is led by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and is designed to integrate the high-end maritime strike capabilities of an aircraft carrier strike group (CSG) to support the defence of the Alliance. 

NS22 is the execution phase of a long series of activities known as Project Neptune, conceptualized in 2020. The activity focuses on overcoming the complexities of integrating command and control of a carrier strike group to NATO. 

"This long-planned training evolution will improve interoperability of U.S. carrier strike groups, U.S. Sixth Fleet, STRIKFORNATO and the wider Alliance," Commander, Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) Vice Admiral Keith Blount said. "This activity prepares both NATO and the CSGs to better integrate and enables multiple and unique theatre-wide training opportunities across the Alliance."


This long-planned training evolution will improve interoperability of U.S. carrier strike groups, U.S. Sixth Fleet, STRIKFORNATO and the wider Alliance

_nato4Under the command of Italian Navy Rear Admiral Mauro Panebianco, SNMG2 includes Italian Ship Carlo Margottini (F592) and Turkish Ship Goksu (F497) with its organic helicopter, which will provide air support for anti-submarine exercises. Margottini took lead as SNMG2's flagship on Dec. 17, 2021.

NS22 is an opportunity for NATO Allies and partners to train together to refine tactics, techniques and procedures increasing interoperability and capacity across the maritime domain. It also provides an opportunity to test and validate integration of a carrier strike group with NATO in a rapidly evolving security environment.

An Italian task group consisting of the Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), Horizon-class destroyer ITS Andrea Doria (D553), frigate ITS Antonio Marceglia (F597) and a refuelling unit joined the exercise on Feb. 1. This collaboration during NS22 will improve training and strengthen relationships with Allies in the region. 

The Standing Naval Forces comprise the core of the maritime component of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) to the NATO Response Forces (NRF), providing timely maritime support to NATO operations.

Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM

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