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Nov 9 2023

Exercise Neptune Strike concludes across Europe

NATO Forces from 20 Allies Conduct Dynamic Missions Across Europe during NEPTUNE STRIKE.

NATO demonstrated the speed and reach by which it can defend every inch of the Euro-Atlantic Area during the third iteration of NEPTUNE STRIKE for 2023, which runs from 30 October to 10 November. In just the past four days alone, Allied fighters, aircraft carriers, ships, and troops, conducted missions across the territory of ten Allied nations as well as the Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Seas.

The defensive drills involved three Allied aircraft carriers, 11 Allied ships, dozens of advanced fighter aircraft, various supporting aircraft, as well as amphibious and special operations forces.

On November 2nd, the ITS Cavour seamlessly transitioned from conducting the multi-domain exercises Dynamic Mariner and Mare Aperto to deterring aggression in Neptune Strike clearly illustrating the flexibility of NATO Allies. The Italian Carrier Strike Group together with the ESPS Juan Carlos I, utilized their Air Wings to conduct simulated combat air patrols in and around the Tyrrhenian Sea.


On November 8, marine forces from the ESPS Juan Carlos Carrier Strike Group conducted an amphibious assault onto Alboran Island in the Mediterranean. Earlier in the exercise, the group conducted nine other training events, including simulated airstrikes on targets in Greece, Italy, and Spain as well as maritime targets.

On November 9, 2023, fighters from the UK, Finland, Sweden, Spain, and Estonia performed air-to-air and air-to-ground manoeuvres in conjunction with Estonian and Spanish land forces in the area of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. The purpose was to demonstrate NATO’s capability to penetrate contested airspace as a part of operations in defence of Alliance territory. By the end of this Neptune Strike iteration, Allies will have conducted operations in Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Germany, and Poland.


At the same time on November 9, advanced fighter aircraft from the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group delivered 5th Generation deterrence, conducting simulated ground attacks on targets in Norway, enabled by Norwegian Special Forces on the ground. Missions during NEPTUNE STRIKE were not pre-planned. Instead, forces rapidly planned, coordinated, and executed dynamic missions in response to a rapidly evolving set of conditions. Aircraft flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth were conducting the above missions in Estonia and Norway simultaneously. Such complex and realistic training ensures the Alliance is ready to meet any threats to its security.

NEPTUNE STRIKE runs from 30 October to 10 November and includes participation from 20 Allied nations and one partner nation. The Neptune Strike series is a tangible demonstration of the power and capability of the NATO Alliance in multi-domain operations, highlighting the natural evolution of NATO's ability to integrate the high-end maritime warfare capabilities of carrier strike groups to support the defense of the Alliance through the execution of enhanced Vigilance Activities.


Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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