Naval Putting and Assist Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and U.S. Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) concluded the NATO-led Vigilance Exercise NEPTUNE SHIELD 2022 (NESH22) from STRIKFORNATO’s Joint Operations Centre in Oeiras, Portugal, Could 31. The 2-week vigilance exercise demonstrated NATO’s skill to combine the command and management of a number of service strike teams (CSG), an amphibious prepared group (ARG) and a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU), involving the participation of 25 NATO Allied and companion nations. NESH22 kicked off Could seventeenth from the Baltic, Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas, and concerned missions at sea, within the air and on the bottom throughout Europe, supporting each Allied Joint Drive Command (JFC) Naples and JFC Brunssum. Whereas STRIKFORNATO executed command and management of the united statesHarry S. Truman CSG, the ITS CAVOUR CSG and the Mixed Activity Drive 61/2, which included the united statesKearsarge ARG and the twenty second MEU, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) coordinated the exercise, integrating NATO Allied Maritime Command and NATO Allied Air Command.

“Demonstrating and enhancing NATO’s high-end maritime warfare capabilities exhibits the world the true energy and teamwork of our Alliance,” stated Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, STRIKFORNATO and SIXTHFLT. “NATO’s capability to conduct built-in operations within the maritime area ensures stability and peace all through Europe, and validates greater than seven many years of Alliance interoperability.”


“Credible drive projection to defend the Alliance must be built-in throughout a number of domains; sea, air, land in addition to area and our on-line world. NESH22 additional built-in these domains, and was an important step within the development of the NEPTUNE collection to reveal NATO’s skill to defend towards any risk from any route,” stated Admiral Robert P. Burke, Commander, JFC Naples.

The Nimitz-class plane service USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), heart, transits in formation with, from left to proper, Italian Navy Cavour-class plane service ITS Cavour (CVH 550), Italian Navy Andrea Doria-class air protection destroyer ITS Andrea Doria (D-553), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), Spanish Navy F-100 class air protection frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbón (F-102) and Spanish Navy multi-purpose amphibious assault ship-aircraft service ESPS Juan Carlos I (L-61) throughout NATO’s-led vigilance exercise Neptune Protect 22 within the Adriatic Sea, Could 31, 2022. (U.S. Navy picture by MC3 Crayton Agnew)

STRIKFORNATO led and coordinated maritime and expeditionary forces composed of 4 service strike teams from three completely different nations, greater than 30 ships and 160 plane, together with forces from the Harry S. Truman CSG, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU, the Italian Navy CAVOUR CSG, the Spanish Navy JUAN CARLOS I CSG and the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 and a pair of. Greater than 200 plane sorties and 80 vigilance actions have been executed by greater than 11,000 personnel from 25 NATO and companion nations. NESH22 is constructed on earlier phases of Venture NEPTUNE, a protracted collection of actions initially conceptualized in 2020. In October and November 2021, SIXTHFLT and STRIKFORNATO carried out NEPTUNE CHALLENGE within the Mediterranean and Black Seas onboard SIXTHFLT and STRIKFORNATO’s Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20). In February 2022, NEPTUNE STRIKE demonstrated the ability and cohesiveness of our maritime forces and the NATO Alliance. Earlier actions within the NEPTUNE collection additionally included numerous table-top workouts held between NATO Allied and companion nations. The Venture NEPTUNE collection is instrumental in making a stronger, built-in NATO drive.

Breaking new floor, NESH22 additionally delivered on a collection of “first-ever occasions” on behalf of the Alliance. The Switch of Authority (ToA) of the Italian CAVOUR CSG shouldn’t be solely the primary time Italy has transferred command and management of a CSG and F-35B plane to NATO, it’s also the primary time any non-U.S. CSG has flown the NATO flag. Creating alternatives to additional improve Alliance interoperability, NESH22 achieved the primary air-to-air refuelling of a Spanish AV-8B from a U.S. F-18 tanker. Additionally, the primary air-to-air refuelling of an Italian F-35B demonstrated the primary ever non-U.S. F-35B to re-fuel mid-air by a U.S. F-18 jet. The power to take action didn’t exist previous to the beginning of NESH22 and pave the best way for additional integration between the U.S. and different F-35 NATO nations, akin to Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and the U.Ok.

Collectively, these signify the primary ever deployment of a NATO Expanded Activity Drive (NETF) in help of actual world vigilance actions. Outlined as two or extra strike teams, NETF allows the Alliance to generate and ship results throughout everything of SACEUR’s space of accountability. NESH made important benchmark positive factors in how Allies effectively remedy dynamic issues throughout the Allied Command Operations (ACOs) that may improve capabilities for actual world deterrence eventualities. As well as, the Spanish JUAN CARLOS I CSG operated in shut coordination with the NETF for the primary time, additional demonstrating Alliance cohesion, unity, and functionality. Nations collaborating in NESH22 included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the U.Ok., and U.S.