NATO’s maritime message to Russia

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Multiple naval task forces, all taking part in the largest NATO exercise in decades, have converged together to join HMS Prince of Wales and her Carrier Strike Group, UK Defence Journal reports.

Exercise Steadfast Defender 24 is designed to demonstrate the strength of NATO’s collective defence in the face of potential Russian aggression against the Alliance.

The Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group, led by HMS Prince of Wales, is now operating around the ice-cold Norwegian fjords after successfully completing Joint Warrior.

According to the Royal Navy, the aircraft carrier was joined by more than 30 ships, four submarines, multiple aircraft from maritime patrol to F-35 Lightning jets and more than 20,000 personnel from nations including Canada, Denmark, France and Spain.

“Joint Warrior is one part of NATO’s biggest exercise in a generation – Steadfast Defender. It was the UK-led phase of the exercise which saw surface, air and land scenarios played out to see how NATO nations and allied partners can work closely and react to hostilities. The Royal Navy’s Joint Exercise Training and Planning Staff (JTEPS) plans, delivers and executes such training with the aim of making it as real to life as possible.”

Commodore Andrew Ingham, Commander Fleet Operational Standards and Training, said:

“JTEPS, as the formation level training arm of FOST, deliver high end and realistic multi-domain warfare training to UK, NATO and partner nation Maritime Task groups. By conducting large scale multinational exercises, such as Nordic Response, JTEPS are able to strive for maximum lethality and readiness. Through careful planning, effective orchestrating and detailed evaluation we are able to ensure that the alliance’s most powerful naval assets are consistently challenged against realistic and credible threat scenarios. Their work supporting the largest NATO exercise in 50 years is absolutely crucial to ensuring that we are prepared for the challenges and threats of modern era.”

 

Exercise Steadfast Defender now continues in Norway under Nordic Response, focussing on amphibious operations in the Arctic Circle.

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