Yesterday afternoon we tracked a patrol mission in the Strait of Sicily by a USNavy Boeing P-8A.
At about the same time, an ATR P-72B (MM62280) of the Italian Air Force also left Sigonella Air Base to carry out a similar mission.
In both cases, the aircraft carried out part of the mission over the Ionian Sea (where the Neptune Strike exercise is taking place) and part over the Sicilian Channel, where they performed some orbits between Malta and Sicily.
This is no accident. The Russian flotilla that entered the Mediterranean last week was transiting the area. The two NATO assets wanted to keep an eye on the Russian ships.
We will probably see new missions of this kind in the next few days.