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Jan 25 2022

Neptune Strike is making waves in the Central Mediterranean

RAMSTEIN, Germany - Supported by Allied Air Command, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) commenced NATO-led activity Neptune Strike 2022, January 24 in the Ionian Sea.

Neptune Strike 2022 highlights the natural evolution of NATO's ability to integrate the high-end maritime warfare capabilities of a carrier strike group to support the defence of the Alliance. Neptune Strike 2022 accomplishes the long-planned handover of command and control of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from the US Sixth Fleet to STRIKFORNATO and the wider Alliance. It represents a strong sign of transatlantic unity and readiness.

The ability to integrate both land and maritime based air assets into a multi-domain mission allows nations to practice the fundamentals that provide the cornerstone of NATO's defence

"The ability to integrate both land and maritime based air assets into a multi-domain mission allows nations to practice the fundamentals that provide the cornerstone of NATO's defence," said Brigadier General Joel Carey, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Allied Air Command. "This type of activity continues to ensure our crews remain capable and ready."

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Italian Air Force KC-767A tankers provide air-air refueling capability enhancing the reach of Allied fighters during complex long-range missions. Archive imagery courtesy of the Italian Air Force
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Land based fighters like this Hellenic Air Force F-16 will support the carrier air wing during Neptune Strike. Archive photo courtesy of the Hellenic Air Force.

Neptune Strike provides a valuable opportunity for Allied Air Forces and the Carrier Strike Group Air Wing to work together, enhancing interoperability while practicing unit level tactics, techniques and procedures. The Allied Air Command team will support the delivery of air operations throughout Neptune Strike including integrating key support elements like air to air refuelling tankers and airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Neptune Strike 2022 is the execution phase of a long series of activities known as Project Neptune, conceptualized in 2020. The activity focuses on overcoming the complexities of integrating command and control of a carrier strike group to NATO.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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