Major NATO exercise underway in the Mediterranean


A large fleet of warships from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) is currently taking part in the maritime exercise Brilliant Mariner 2013 in the Mediterranean Sea conducted in conjunction with the Italian Navy’s Exercise Mare Aperto 13.

The warships are participating in demanding training evolutions that will enable them to respond to crisis situations anywhere in the world at short or no notice. The exercise, which ends on October 6, is taking place in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Sicily and Sardinia.

Over 5 000 military and naval personnel from 12 NATO nations comprising Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany , Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are taking part in this major annual exercise.

Twenty-five warships, including an aircraft carrier, 12 frigates, one amphibious warfare ship, one auxiliary ship and seven mine countermeasures vessels are involved, alongside a variety of aircraft, submarines and embarked marines. Two submarines and a maritime patrol aircraft have also been deployed for the exercise.

NATO’s Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, UK is responsible for directing the exercise, ensuring the NRF is faced with a realistic and demanding scenario, presenting a number of challenges for the participants.

The first part of the exercise focuses on inter-operability training in asymmetric multi-threat and maritime warfare operations. This will help units to be ready to work together for the second phase of the exercise during which the force will undertake demanding responses within a complicated, crisis response scenario.
“Brilliant Mariner will not only hone multi-national maritime skills to preserve our readiness, but it is also a tangible demonstration of what NATO’s maritime power can bring to the various security challenges we are likely to face in the coming years. A key attribute of Maritime Forces is the ability to exert influence at range, offering political choice and a broad range of military options. To do so we must train hard,” said NATO’s Maritime Commander, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson of the Royal Navy.

This exercise is part of NATO’s efforts to further develop connected and inter-operable maritime forces at a high-level of readiness through dynamic and demanding exercises. The goal is to make sure the maritime component of the NRF is able to respond swiftly to any challenge.