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Nov 5 2021

NATO fighters and surveillance aircraft guard USS Mount Whitney entry into the Black Sea

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Allied airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft worked alongside US Air Force F-15Es in an air-maritime cooperation mission during USS Mount Whitney's entry into the Black Sea, November 4.

The amphibious command ship, USS Mount Whitney was supported by Allied air power throughout her movement in to the black sea. US F-15E Strike Eagles who are currently forward deployed in Romania and Bulgaria as part of exercise Castle Forge took part in the mission. Air maritime integration like this is the cornerstone of Allied multi-domain operations

Allied AEW platforms ensure NATO forces maintain critical situational awareness in all domains, allowing crews and commanders to react effectively to any potential threats

"Multinational air-maritime missions demonstrate NATO's ability to form a responsive joint force," said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander Allied Air Command. "Allied AEW platforms ensure NATO forces maintain critical situational awareness in all domains, allowing crews and commanders to react effectively to any potential threats."

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US F-15Es preparing for another mission in the Black Sea region. The US fighters have been carrying out air-maritime missions with the USS Mount Whitney and the USS Porter in the Black Sea. Archive photo courtesy of the USAF.
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The crew aboard the Turkish E-7T AEW aircraft as they contribute to the  recognised air picture used by air and maritime units to provide situational awareness. Photo courtesy of the Turkish Air Force.

Air surveillance and command and control was provided by Allied AEW aircraft. A Greek EMB-145 and a Turkish E-7T observed the region as USS Mount Whitney began her northbound transit into the Black Sea. The Allied AEW aircraft provide enhanced situational awareness to all air and maritime units. Participating units conducted training scenarios to establish air and maritime control, which enables freedom of navigation in international air and water spaces.

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, including Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey along with partners like Ukraine and Georgia.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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