The Spanish Navy High Readiness Forces (Maritime) Headquarters (SP MARFOR) will embark its Staff on board the amphibious assault ship ‘Castilla’ to lead and command NATO’s exercise ‘Noble Mariner-14’.
Spain is the host nation of this exercise to be held from the 16th to the 26th of October off the coast of Cartagena, Gulf of Cadiz and Alboran Sea with participation of 25 warships, six submarines and more than 4,000 servicemen from 16 different nations.
This exercise is part of a process to certify SP MARFOR as the Alliance’s Response Force (Naval Group) during 2015. Its main mission is the planning and execution of naval or joint operations, both at national and international level.
The objective of this exercise is to test the interoperability of allied naval units and train in a wide range of areas like maritime security and counter-piracy operations, projection of an amphibious force ashore and submarine detection.
Spain will contribute with the following units: the amphibious assault ship ‘Castilla’, the LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’, frigates ‘Almirante Juan de Borbón’, ‘Méndez Núñez’, ‘Victoria’, ‘Reina Sofía’ and ‘Canarias’; the logistic support ship ‘Patiño’, the submarine ‘Galerna’, the minehunters ‘Duero’ and ‘Turia’, patrol vessels ‘Vigía’ and ‘Medas’, oceanic tug ‘La Graña’ and several fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
Besides the Spanish units, two NATO Standing task groups will participate; namely the Second Standing Maritime Escorts Group (SNMG-2) and the Mine countermeasures Group (SNMCMG-2), along with ships, submarines and aircraft from allied and non-allied nations like Germany, Canada, Unites States, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Turkey; and observers from Belgium, Holland, Australia, Finland and Sweden.
Six submarines and four maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) will also take part in this aero-naval exercise.
Image: Spanish Navy