NATO Allies complete the second iteration of Neptune Strike

Source: JFC Naples Public Affairs Office

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group completed their four day training exercise Neptune Strike 2023-2 (NEST 23.2) on July 14, 2023. The exercise enhanced the two organizations’ ability to integrate the command and control of a carrier strike group into NATO’s wider operations across Europe.

NEST 23.2 included 15 NATO Allied nations and featured more than 7,000 military personnel, over 20 ships, and approximately 100 air assets. The exercise saw their combined power complete a wide variety of missions across the European continent to include 105 aircraft sorties and dual-carrier strike operations and proved that NATO has both the resolve and technical capabilities to answer any threat, anywhere, at any time.

NEST 23.2 was the second iteration of the training exercise for the year and a continuation of the Project Neptune series. Project Neptune began in 2020, and sought to overcome many of the challenges of tasking aircraft and ships of the Strike Group. The series is designed to streamline the tasking processes, airspace and range management, Alliance air-to-air tanking co-ordination, air defence and Alliance wide situational awareness to better deter on behalf of, or defend the NATO Alliance. Careful deliberation and co-ordination has enabled the long planned execution of this handover of command and control.

SIXTHFLT, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.

STRIKFORNATO, headquartered in Oeiras, Portugal, is Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s premier, rapidly deployable and flexible, maritime power projection Headquarters, capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations.



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