A large fleet of warships from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) sailed from ports across Europe yesterday to take part in the maritime component of Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, which will encompass the anti submarine component and the electronic warfare component.
The Noble Justification prepares and tests the highest levels of readiness for rapid response to any NATO contingency. It also develops force integration, multinational interoperability and enhances readiness by building joint capability and deployability through a high density, high threat scenario in which NATO responds to a threat to its integrity and the sovereignty of its member states.
The warships will participate in demanding training evolutions that will enable them to respond to crisis situations anywhere in the world at short or no notice. The exercise, which runs through October 26, will involve more than five thousand military and naval personnel from 16 NATO nations: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany , Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Afloat participants will include 23 warships: ten frigates, two amphibious ships, five auxiliary ships and six Mine Countermeasures vessels along with a number of submarines, small units and embarked Marines. Exercise Noble Justification will also include a wide variety of aircraft, including U.S. B-52 Stratofortress bombers. The participation of the bombers, which will assist in the exercise’s focus of validating the Spanish Maritime Forces as the 2015 NATO Maritime NRF, aims to strengthen interoperability with NATO allies and demonstrates the United States’ commitment to enhancing regional partnerships.
NATO Allied Maritime Command, in Northwood, UK, is responsible for directing the exercise, ensuring that the NATO Response Force (NRF) is faced with a realistic and demanding scenario, presenting a number of challenges for the participants.
The first part of the exercise will focus on interoperability training in asymmetric multi-threat and maritime warfare operations. This will help units to be ready to work together for the second phase of the exercise, during which the force will undertake demanding responses within a complicated, crisis response scenario.
“The exercise Noble Justification is a substantial opportunity for NATO to develop force integration, multinational interoperability and enhance readiness, by using of an improved technology,” said NATO’s Maritime Commander, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson of the UK Navy. “It exercises a high density, high threat scenario in which NATO responds to a threat to its integrity and the sovereignty of its member states,” he said.
Press Release, October 14, 2014; Image: NATO MARCOM