US Navy and Air Force assets met up with other NATO units in the Adriatic Sea for joint maritime and air training on September 11.
The training mission was the second iteration of an ongoing integration of US Air Force Europe and US 6th Fleet. The ultimate goal is to refine joint air defense procedures to better defend US Navy ships.
US guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) from Patrol Squadron VP-47, four F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Mildenhall, England and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) E-2 from NATO, Geilenkirchen, Germany, participated in the training.
“Our comparative military advantage is that US uniformed services fight together,” said Capt. Joseph A. Gagliano, commander, Task Force 65. “Today’s exercise demonstrated that our joint Navy-Air Force team and NATO is ready to operate anywhere in this theater.”
US destroyers, based in Rota, Spain, support NATO’s integrated air missile defense architecture as part of the US’ European Phased Adaptive Approach. These forward deployed naval forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain. The US Navy is currently in the process of replacing the four Spain-based destroyer with newer, more capable ships. USS Roosevelt, a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke with a newly configured baseline 9 Aegis weapon system, was the first to arrive earlier this year.
VP-47 is currently assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 and is forward-deployed to the US 6th Fleet area of operations (AOO). CTF 67 is composed of land-based maritime patrol aircraft that operate over the waters of the Mediterranean in anti-submarine reconnaissance, surveillance, and mining roles.