RAMSTEIN, Germany - Allied Air Command provided coordination of NATO Air Power in support of multi-domain vigilance activity Neptune Strike (NEST 23-2) conducted in the Baltic & Mediterranean Seas from July 10 - 14.
The Neptune Series consistently showcases the unmatched cohesion and capacity of our Alliance in deterring potential adversaries and defending our nations if called upon
Headquarters Allied Air Command at Ramstein, Germany, provided a coordination hub for air units transferred to Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) as well as national units to fulfil operational effects in the air domain as requested by NATO's Joint Forces Commands at Brunssum, the Netherlands, and Naples, Italy, during the vigilance activity. National liaison officers within AIRCOM tapped into their organisations back home for national airspace, ranges, and participating units. NATO's two Combined Air Operation Centres (CAOCs) at Torrejon, Spain, and Uedem, Germany, took inputs from the core planning team located at AIRCOM. They input them into the daily NATO Air Tasking Order to synchronize efforts between Allied Air and Maritime forces in their specific areas of responsibility in the North and South of Europe.
Air-to-air refueling is a mission essential enabler especially during multi-domain operations in the huge airspace above open sea.
Archive picture courtesy Italian Air Force.
United States Navy and Italian Navy fighters conducting combined aerial manoeuvres above Allied vessels during vigilance activity Neptune Strike 23-2.
Photo by U.S. Navy.
Sailing under NATO command - the world’s largest aircraft carrier USS Gerald. R. Ford (CVN 78) represents a generational leap in the U.S. Navy’s capacity to project power on a global scale. Photo by U.S. Navy / Jacob Mattingly.
NEST 23-2 harmonised NATO interoperability and ability to seamlessly integrate operations among Allied national forces and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO). This activity also prepared contributing nations to work with NATO Commands and provided the framework for future national and multinational Maritime integrations to NATO. In addition, NEST 23-2 enabled multiple and unique theatre-wide opportunities across the Alliance.
"The Neptune Series consistently showcases the unmatched cohesion and capacity of our Alliance in deterring potential adversaries and defending our nations if called upon," summarised Vice Admiral Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and STRIKFORNATO.
During NEST 23-2, the world's largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), came under NATO command for the second time in two months. The ship and its associated strike group reported to STRIKFORNATO while sailing in the Norwegian Sea in early June.
"Transferring Allied units to NATO's control is becoming business as usual for our NATO Alliance," said Vice Admiral. "The Project Neptune series allows us to continue honing our ability to operate together with a variety of units and nations in all domains in Europe. Weeks after Formidable Shield and BALTOPS, Sixth Fleet and STRIKFORNATO's ability to execute Neptune Strike 23-2 underscores our combined capacity and interoperability," he added.
NEST 23-2 has continued the natural evolution of NATO’s ability to command and control forces across Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s Area of Responsibility. The enhanced vigilance activity displayed advanced capabilities in all-domain operations and the defensive commitment of the NATO Alliance.