NATO Intensifies Submarine Warfare Exercise In Eastern Mediterranean
NATO Maritime Command
March 5, 2013
Exercise Proud Manta 13 gaining Momentum
Since 23 February, ten NATO nations have been participating in exercise Proud Manta 13, NATO’s biggest annual anti-submarine warfare exercise (read more here) taking place in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Sicily.
During the first week of the exercise, 4 submarines, 10 warships and 17 aircraft engaged in a series of anti-submarine warfare drills aimed at ensuring all units are in synch before the ‘free-play’ phase of the exercise begins.
So far, all units have enjoyed unusually good weather. However, an unexpected player came into the exercise to bring some additional difficulty. Etna, Europe’s most famous volcano, is now sending plumes of ash into the air complicating the task of air traffic controllers. This has not prevented the maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters participating in the exercise to perform over 100 sorties.
The ‘free-play’ phase which will begin this evening consists of a realistic crisis scenario to which all units will have to adapt. From now on, the success of the exercise will depend of their ability to analyse and react to rapidly unfolding events under a significant amount of stress.
The ‘exercise control’ team (the EXCON), has been running the exercise from HQ MARCOM in Northwood. Officers from COMSUBSOUTH, the Submarine Command attached to Maritime Command Naples are working together with their counterparts from COMSUBNATO, the new single NATO submarine command. During the free-play phase, their task will be to make the scenario evolve to ensure that the players get the maximum training value out of Proud Manta 13, scheduled to continue until 6 March 2013.