NATO’s Response Force (NRF) conducts major Maritime Exercise to ‘stress test’ its crisis reaction capabilities
A large fleet of warships from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) sailed from ports across Europe today to take part in the Maritime Exercise “Brilliant Mariner 2013” in the Mediterranean Sea which will be conducted in conjunction with the Italian Navy’s Exercise “Mare Aperto 13”.
The warships will take participate in demanding training evolutions that will enable them to respond to crisis situations anywhere in the world at short or no notice. The exercise, which will end on 6 October 2013, will take place in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Sicily and Sardinia.
Over five thousand military and naval personnel from 12 NATO nations comprising Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate in this major annual exercise.
25 warships, including one aircraft carrier, 12 frigates, one amphibious warfare ship, one auxiliary ship and 7 mine countermeasures vessels will be involved, alongside a wide variety of aircraft, submarines and embarked marines. Two submarines and a Maritime Patrol Aircraft will also take part.
NATO’s Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, UK is responsible for directing the exercise, ensuring that the NATO Response Force (NRF) is faced with a realistic and demanding scenario, presenting a number of challenges for the participants. The first part of the exercise will focus on interoperability training in asymmetric multi-threat and maritime warfare operations. This will help units to be ready to work together for the second phase of the exercise during which the forces will undertake demanding responses within a complicated, crisis response scenario.
“Brilliant Mariner will not only hone multinational maritime skills to preserve our readiness, but it is also a tangible demonstration of what NATO’s maritime power can bring to the various security challenges that we are likely to face with in coming years,” said NATO’s Maritime Commander, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson of the UK Navy. “A key attribute of Maritime Forces is the ability to exert influence at range, offering political choice and a broad range of military options. To do so we must train hard,” he said.
This exercise is part of NATO's efforts to further develop connected and interoperable Maritime forces at a high-level of readiness through dynamic and demanding exercises. The goal is to make sure that the Maritime component of the NRF is able to respond swiftly to any challenge.