NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg kicked off the annual ‘Dynamic Mongoose’ anti-submarine warfare exercise in a visit to Trondheim, Norway today.
The ASW drill, focused on detecting and defending against submarines, runs for ten days.
Three thousand sailors and aircrew from eight Allies (Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States) are participating in the exercise.
Four submarines from Canada, Germany, Norway and the United States are taking part, along with nine surface ships and four maritime patrol aircraft.
The exercise takes places in the Norwegian Sea, in an area measuring 14,000 square nautical miles.
During the exercise, submarines will have to transit from one point to another, while surface vessels try to track them down and simulate an attack. Surface units will also have to transit between two points while under submarine threat.
This is the fourth time Exercise Dynamic Mongoose has been conducted; it previously took place in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
Joined by Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, Stoltenberg addressed sailors aboard the Norwegian frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen. Calling naval capabilities “as important as ever”, he noted that 70% of the earth is covered by water, and that 90% of world trade travels by sea. He stressed that NATO must be able to operate “on the sea, over the sea, and also under the sea.”