Home Europe Five carrier strike groups patrolling NATO area of operations simultaneously

Five carrier strike groups patrolling NATO area of operations simultaneously

USS Gerald R. Ford on first deployment
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) steams in the Atlantic Ocean in formation with ally ships during exercise Silent Wolverine on November 7, 2022. Photo: US Navy

Aircraft carriers and their strike groups from five allied nations will be operating in the Atlantic Ocean and the North and Mediterranean Seas in November, in what the US Navy says is a show of the alliance’s combat power generation capability.

This occurrence also presents an opportunity for allied nations to showcase NATO cohesion and interoperability.

Participating forces comprise the carrier strike groups (CSG) formed in support of the French Navy aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle, which deployed on November 15 on operation Antares in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean.

Italian Navy aircraft carrier ITS Cavour is also on patrol, while Royal Navy carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth got underway recently for operations in northern European waters.

The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush just completed a port visit to Portsmouth, UK, while USS Gerald R. Ford spent time anchored off Croatia in the Adriatic Sea earlier this month.

Although each nation’s forces are operating in support of their own mission objectives, the advanced cooperation shows unity towards the collective defence of the alliance, NATO said. Ships and assets from various allies and partners are included in the groups, and the activity is coordinated with the Standing NATO Maritime Groups 1 and 2.

“NATO routinely demonstrates its cohesion, coordinating with multiple international maritime assets at once,” said Commander, NATO Allied Maritime Command Vice Admiral Keith Blount. “This opportunity demonstrates our ironclad commitment to the stability and security of the Euro-Atlantic Area and the strength of our collective capability.”

“Five carriers within our operating area presents a further opportunity to consolidate our approach to air defense, cross-domain cooperation and maritime-land integration,” he said.