NATO begins Dynamic Manta submarine drills in Mediterranean Sea

Submarines, ships and aircraft from 10 NATO countries launched the annual Dynamic Manta exercise off the coast of Italy, beginning 10 days of underwater and surface warfare training in the central Mediterranean Sea.

The exercise, which began on Monday, February 25, involves submarines from Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, under the control of NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), are joining nine surface ships from the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Italy, Turkey, France, and Greece, NATO said on Wednesday.

“NATO’s annual anti-submarine-warfare exercise DYNAMIC MANTA remains one of the most challenging exercises and an excellent opportunity for NATO nations’ naval forces to practice and evaluate their Anti-Submarine skillset in a challenging environment,” NATO Submarines Commander Rear Admiral Andrew Lennon said.

“This exercise is a unique opportunity to enhance naval forces’ war fighting skills in all three dimensions of Anti-Submarine-Warfare in a multinational and multi-threat environment.”

Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will provide a total of five submarines, nine anti-surface warfare surface ships, six Maritime Patrol Aircraft, and 11 helicopters.

NATO warships in Dynamic Manta 2019
NATO warships sail in formation while performing Dynamic Manta’s Photo exercise. Image: FRAN WO Christian Valverde/NATO

Each surface ship will have the opportunity to conduct a variety of submarine warfare operations. The submarines will take turns hunting and being hunted, closely coordinating their efforts with the air and surface participants, NATO said.

Dynamic Manta aims to provide the participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills.

Italy will host the exercise and provide support in Catania Harbor, the naval helicopter base in Catania and Naval Air Station Sigonella, and logistical support in the form of refueling, medical assistance and accommodations at Augusta Naval Base.

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