In a remarkable display of international maritime cooperation, naval forces from five Allied nations have gathered in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy for the start of Exercise Dynamic Mariner 23.
Following a year of meticulous planning, NATO’s Italian-led exercise will put personnel and military assets through a series of challenging scenarios, designed to prepare them for an effective response to potential crises and threats in the future.
Led by NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), the exercise is vital training for the Italian Navy, as it prepares to take over the NATO Response Force Maritime element (NRF/M) from Türkiye in 2024.
The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force that comprises land, air, maritime and Special Operations Force components which the Alliance can deploy quickly, whenever and wherever needed.
Participants in Exercise Dynamic Mariner will engage in a wide range of training activities, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, amphibious operations, mine countermeasures, boarding exercises, choke point transit and critical undersea infrastructure (CUI) protection operations. Capabilities will be tested across multiple domains – air, land and sea, as well as the asymmetric battlespace including cyber warfare.
The exercise will feature a diverse range of naval assets – approximately 30 warships including an Italian aircraft carrier, submarines, helicopters and aircraft, including Harriers and F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, as well as more than 6,000 troops, staff officers and observers from a total of 14 Allied nations – Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Türkiye, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Dynamic Mariner is one of the most important exercises in the maritime domain,” said MARCOM Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, German Navy Rear Admiral Stefan Pauly. “It not only enhances maritime cooperation between the many nations taking part, it also improves readiness, so are prepared to deter aggression and defend the Alliance.”
The exercise will take place in Italian territorial waters and international waters in the Mediterranean Sea including airspace above, an extremely important area for global maritime security.
The exercise also involves Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), one of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces on active duty that contribute to the Alliance’s collective defence on a permanent basis.
Exercise Dynamic Mariner 23 will begin on the 23 October and finish on 6 November. It overlaps with the Italian-led Exercise Mare Aperto 23-2, which continues until 17 November.
Collective defence remains the Alliance’s greatest responsibility and deterrence is a core element of NATO’s overall strategy – preventing conflict and war, protecting Allies, maintaining freedom of decision and action, and upholding the principles and values it stands for.
Headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom, NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) is the central command of all NATO maritime forces. MARCOM’s commander is the primary maritime advisor to the Alliance. Like its land and air counterparts (LANDCOM and AIRCOM), MARCOM reports to NATO’s Allied Command Operations (ACO), which is located in Mons, Belgium.
(Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM)