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 Nov 25 2020

Allied Air Forces carry out integrated exercises with USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Canadian CF-188s, a NATO E3A AWACS, a United States P-8A and the USS Donald Cook carried out a joint air maritime integrated mission, coordinated by Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejon in the Black Sea on the evening of November 23, 2020.

The mission was part of continued integration of air and maritime units in the Black Sea. The ultimate goal is to refine joint air defence procedures and to enable freedom of navigation in all international air and maritime spaces. Overseen by CAOC Torrejon in Spain, the exercise showcased coordinated operations of air and naval capabilities and integration of platforms across multiple domains.

Doing the work now ensures future success and it's always great to work with and learn from our Allies in such a dynamic environment 

"This exercise is all about fostering NATO interoperability. It gives our pilots the opportunity to work with U.S. Navy tactical controllers aboard a ship. This type of integration is critical to our ability to conduct future operations with NATO. Doing the work now ensures future success and it's always great to work with and learn from our Allies in such a dynamic environment," said Lieutenant Colonel David McLeod, Commander Air Task Force – Romania. 

Donald Cook recently began its eleventh patrol of the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility. The ship typically operates independently, but also regularly works alongside NATO Allies and Partners in the region, as in the case of today's live exercise with their Allied air force colleagues.
"Operating in the Black Sea signifies our commitment to partners and allies in the region," said Commander Kelley Jones, commanding officer of the ship.

The Canadian enhanced Air Policing detachment are almost three months into their deployment contributing to the Alliance's deterrence and defence posture.  Outside their Air Policing role they have also participated in a range of exercises with Allies around the region. This has built on the already strong, established relationships with Romania and alongside other NATO Allies helps to support regional stability.

Donald Cook is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence architecture. The Ballistic Missile Defence Operations Centre at Allied Air Command forms the central hub for this Alliance capability and coordinates the architecture and assets across Europe to protect populations, territory and forces against the full spectrum of missile threats. 

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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Canadian CF-188 pilot carrying out preflight checks before a mission over the black sea. Archive photo courtesy of RCAF.
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NATO E3A used to carry out vital command and control tasks during complex multi domain operations. Archive phot courtesy of Turkish Air Force.
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Canadian CF-188 departing on a patrol over the Black Sea on joint a mission with Allies. Archive photo courtesy of RCAF.

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