NATO flexes muscles in the North and Baltic Seas

NATO flexes muscles in the North and Baltic Seas

On 12 April 2010, numerous warships, submarines and auxiliary vessels, which are part of the NATO Response Force (NRF), left various European ports to take part in the major maritime exercise “Brilliant Mariner” in North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Ships and submarines will participate in force integration training that will allow them to intervene in operations or crisis situations anywhere in the world in response to requirements. This exercise, which will end on April 22, 2010, is taking place in the waters and airspace of Northern Europe.

Six thousand five hundred men from ten NATO countries (France, which is in command, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States) and a partner nation (Sweden) are participating in the exercise. This exercise mobilizes 31 warships (including an aircraft carrier, frigates, oil tankers and mine hunters), four submarines and 28 aircraft.

The maritime forces left early Monday morning from Wilhelmshaven, Eckernförde and Cuxhaven in Germany. As part of the exercise, the NATO mine countermeasures group, which includes a dozen ships, sailed up the Kiel Canal to the southern Kattegat Strait, where it will carry out mine clearance and neutralization operations of ammunition.

It is the Allied Maritime Command, based in Northwood, near London, which coordinates the “Brilliant Mariner” exercise. The realistic scenario under which the response force operates presents a number of challenges for commanders at sea, including asymmetric or terrorist threats, maritime security operations and embargoes.

“Exercise Brilliant Mariner will really put NATO forces to the test,” said Admiral Trevor Soar, NATO Maritime Commander. “In addition to operational training, this exercise includes an important humanitarian aid training component. This means that, if sent on a mission, NATO forces can prove particularly useful in a crisis situation. »

Rear Admiral Jean-Louis Kérignard, who commands the French maritime force, will lead the exercise from the projection and command building (BPC) Mistral. “As Maritime Component Commander during Exercise Brilliant Mariner, I will lead force integration training and work closely with participating nations to certify our readiness for NRF 15. ,” he said.

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