Spain has been the host nation of NATO’s naval exercise ‘Noble Mariner 14’ 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 was part of a process to certify SP MARFOR as the Alliance’s Response Force (Naval Group) during 2015. Its main mission was the planning and execution of naval or joint operations, both at national and NATO level.
The objective of this exercise was 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 contributed with the following units: the amphibious assault ship ‘Castilla’, the LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’ (embarking the Marine Corps Brigade), frigates ‘Almirante Juan de Borbón’, ‘Méndez Núñez’, ‘Victoria’, ‘Reina Sofía’ and ‘Canarias’; the logistic support ship ‘Patiño’, the minehunters ‘Duero’ and ‘Turia’, patrol vessels ‘Vigía’ and ‘Medas’, the oceanic tug ‘La Graña’, and several fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
Besides the Spanish units, two NATO Standing task groups also participated; 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.
Units from the following 16 nations took part in the exercise: Germany, Canada, Unites States, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Turkey provided warships; and Belgium, Holland, Australia, Finland and Sweden sent observers.
Press release, Image: Spanish Navy