Allied Maritime Component Command Naples

NATO’s largest annual anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise

Noble Manta 09, NATO’s largest annual anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise will take place in the Ionian Sea to the Southeast of Sicily from 13 to 27 February 2009. Eight NATO nations will provide 6 submarines, 9 surface ships and 13 aircraft – including ship-based helicopters – to take part in the exercise.

Forces are provided by Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO surface ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 will also take part. All participating submarines will have the opportunity of being a hunter as well as the prey.

The exercise will demonstrate NATO’s determination to maintain proficiency and improve interoperability in coordinated anti-submarine, anti-surface, and coastal surveillance operations using a multi-national force of ships, submarines and aircraft. Furthermore it will aim to provide operational training in potential NATO Response Force (NRF) tasks/roles and missions, exercising the procedures for possible NRF operations as well as defence against terrorism.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft and shore-based ASW Helicopters will operate from Sigonella and Fontanarossa Air Bases, Sicily. Over 90 air missions are planned; on average this will result in a crew briefing every two hours, day and night, throughout the exercise.

The exercise was scheduled by Allied Maritime Component Command Headquarters Naples and will be conducted by the co-located multi-national Headquarters of the Commander Submarines Allied Naval Forces South and the Commander Maritime Air Naples.