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.