NATO Conducts Largest Anti-Submarine Training in North Atlantic

NATO has conducted its largest anti-submarine warfare training across the waters of Norway, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

Hosted by Iceland, the 11-day Dynamic Mongoose exercise aimed to “track and destroy threats lurking beneath the surface.”

The activity involved 15 surface ships from 10 NATO members and seven maritime patrol aircraft for support. Missions focused on intercepting three submarines simulating the exercise’s “adversary” team.

The skills and experience honed during the counter-submarine training will be employed in future frontline operations and related exercises.

“To be able to bring this experience and knowledge to the table to support our NATO allies is beneficial to all, as we learn valuable lessons through working with our allied counterparts,” Royal Navy Underwater Warfare Chief Petty Officer Chris Griffiths explained.

‘Invaluable Opportunity’

During the event, the Royal Navy leveraged HMS Northumberland’s advanced sonar solutions. 

The Type 23 frigate was deployed alongside the service’s 814 Naval Air Squadron, which specializes in operating Merlin submarine hunter helicopters.

Pictured: Royal Navy Aircrew prepare to lash down a Royal Navy Merlin on HMS Northumbedrland.On Saturday 22nd April 2023, HMS Northumberland left the port of Aberdeen in preparation for Exercise Dynamic Mongoose. The exercise sees NATO ships coming together to prove capability for anti submarine warfare. Ships, submarines and aircraft working together to maintain a high state of readiness at the highest possible standard. HMS Northumberland is a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate, based in Plymouth. She specialises in hunting submarines and currently has a Royal Navy Merlin embarked for her current taskings.
HMS Northumberland’s Merlin submarine minehunter helicopter. Photo: UK Royal Navy

“It’s great to be working alongside our NATO allies as part of the alliance’s premier anti-submarine warfare exercise,” HMS Northumberland’s Commander Will Edwards-Bannon said.

“Hunting submarines is a team sport and Dynamic Mongoose is an invaluable opportunity to not only train as an individual unit, but also share expertise across the alliance – developing our collective defence across the underwater battlespace.”

Anti-Submarine Tanker Support

The British Tideforce tanker was also present in the exercise and completed several replenishments for the allied task group.

Ariel view of RFA Tideforce captured whilst deployed on Exercise WESTLANT 19 in the Atlantic Ocean.The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) provides logistical support to the Royal Navy, all over the world. RFA Tideforce is the Fourth of Class of the Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) Tankers. At 39,000 tonne, the Tide class tankers are the largest ships currently in service within the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
RFA Tideforce tanker. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

“Participating in a large NATO exercise has been a welcome addition to Tideforce’s busy schedule,” Tideforce Commander Capt. Chris Clarke said.

“Operating in the North Atlantic both for ship, and any embarked squadron, is always a tough environment; you need to expose yourself to its challenges if you are to be sure of your capabilities when necessary.”

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