European navies to test amphibious capabilities during Emerald Move 2016

Amphibious assault ships sail in formation during Emerald Move 2010. Photo: Italian Navy

Navy ships and personnel from eight European countries are set to begin the second European amphibious exercise Emerald Move 2016 (ERMO) off the coast of the Italian island of Sardinia on Monday, October 3.

The ERMO 16 is an undertaking of the European Amphibious Initiative (EAI), an organization which aims to strengthen the interoperability of European forces and optimize and improve European amphibious operations capabilities through training and exercises.

The last time the EU conducted this exercise was November 2010 on West Africa’s Atlantic coast, near Dakar.

Next week’s training event will see eight EAI Member States Navies converging on the Central Tyrrhenian Sea for amphibious warfare training.

Participating units will include the Italian Aircraft carrier ITS Cavour, FREMM frigate Carabiniere and Todaro-class submarine Pietro Venuti which was commissioned by the Italian Navy in July this year.

France is sending the lead ship of its Mistral-class landing helicopter docks LHD Mistral while the Netherlands is contributing with the landing platform dock HNLMS Rotterdam. Spain will be represented by the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship SPS Juan Carlos I and frigate SPS Numancia.

Turkey will send landing ship, tank Osmangazi and the United Kingdom, Belgium and Portugal will participate with troops ashore.

Apart from EAI member nations units, NATO’s standing mine countermeasures group two (SNMCMG2) will also be involved in the exercise.

About 4000 men and women engaged, 8 ships, 1 submarine, 9 aircraft AV8B Plus and 18 helicopters will be under the control of Italian Navy Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Donato Marzano while the Cagliari Naval Base will provide logistic support.

According to the Italian Navy, the aim of the ERMO 16 is to test the “Expeditionary” capacity of the European Amphibious Initiative amphibious force far from home waters and capable to operate thanks to the support provided by ships at sea. The ultimate goal of the joint training across several navies and several landing forces is to reach full integration and interoperability among the EAI forces.

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