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Jan 24 2022

NATO Kicks Off Vigilance Activity Neptune Strike 2022

GAETA, Italy – Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and U.S. Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) commenced NATO-led activity Neptune Strike 2022 from the SIXTHFLT flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Jan. 24. The activity is planned to run until 4 Feb.

Neptune Strike 2022 highlights the natural evolution of NATO's ability to integrate the high-end maritime warfare capabilities of a carrier strike group to support the defense of the Alliance. Neptune Strike 2022 accomplishes the long-planned handover of command and control of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from SIXTHFLT to STRIKFORNATO and the wider Alliance. It represents a strong sign of transatlantic unity and readiness.

The capability of SIXTHFLT and STRIKFORNATO combined staffs to enable a handover of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group demonstrates the power and cohesiveness of our maritime forces and the NATO Alliance,

said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, SIXTHFLT and STRIKFORNATO. "NATO's command and control of a Carrier Strike Group is the result of decades of Alliance maritime interoperability."


MEDITERRANEAN SEA - The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), and the Royal Norwegian Navy Frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310) participate in a passing exercise with the Tunisian offshore patrol vessel Hannon (P612) and La Combatante III class fast patrol boat Tunis (502) in the Mediterranean Sea, Dec. 20, 2021. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security, and defend U.S., allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa.

Neptune Strike 2022 is the execution phase of a long series of activities known as Project Neptune, conceptualized in 2020. The activity focuses on overcoming the complexities of integrating command and control of a carrier strike group to NATO.

 Previous events in the Neptune series include table-top exercises at SIXTHFLT headquarters in Naples, Italy, last year, and a STRIKFORNATO embark in 2021 aboard Mount Whitney called Neptune Challenge. Neptune Challenge integrated the two staffs aboard Mount Whitney in the Black Sea and developed the necessary procedures enabling the successful start of Neptune Strike.

"Neptune Challenge gave our staffs an incredible opportunity to learn and grow together aboard our flagship, Mount Whitney," said Rear Adm. James Morley, deputy commander, STRIKFORNATO. "The lessons we took from Neptune Challenge led directly into our execution of Neptune Strike, and I look forward to watching this combined team work to command and control high-end forces in real time."

SIXTHFLT, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

STRIKFORNATO, headquartered in Oeiras, Portugal, is Supreme Allied Commander Europe's (SACEUR) premier, rapidly deployable and flexible, maritime power projection Headquarters, capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations.

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

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