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Mar 22 2021

CAOC Torrejón, NATO E-3A carry out Black Sea interoperability exercise with USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group

RAMSTEIN, Germany - NATO Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejón and  E-3A AWACS aircraft working in support of the U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 conducted a joint maritime and air training mission in the Black Sea, on March 19 to 20.

The two day exercise saw F/A-18s from the USS Eisenhower, NATO E-3A, US Navy P-8, US Air Force KC-135 Rivet and Turkish KC-135 aircraft working together to improve interoperability and enhance situational awareness. The air activities enabled the smooth passage of both the USS Monterey and USS Thomas Hudner into the region to participate in the Romanian led Exercise Sea Shield.

CAOC Torrejón supports naval activities for the Allies in our Area of Responsibility. We work together to enhance our capabilities and to improve the common effort from NATO Allies

“CAOC Torrejón supports naval activities for the Allies in our Area of Responsibility. We work together to enhance our capabilities and to improve the common effort from NATO Allies,” said the CAOC Commander Lieutenant General Fernando De La Cruz. His staff coordinated the event under exercise Torrejón Shield specifically designed to provide protection to NATO and/or national Allied units while entering into the Black Sea. The employment of the various assets reinforced the connectivity functions of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System in the Black Sea region.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) sails into the Black Sea supported by Allied aircraft. Photo courtesy of US Navy.

“Monterey’s presence in the Black Sea reinforces our continued commitment to operate with our NATO Allies,” said Capt. Joseph A. Baggett, Commanding Officer, USS Monterey (CG 61). “Together, we enhance security and stability in the region through cooperation, understanding and collaboration. These efforts and our cooperative relationships are key in safeguarding the region’s vital links to the global economy,” he added.

The Black Sea is a critical waterway for maritime commerce and stability throughout Europe. NATO aircraft and ships routinely operate in the Black Sea to work with Allied nations Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey along with Partners Ukraine and Georgia.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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