Exercise Mare Aperto 2019: the Italian Navy trains together with NATO partners

Italian Navy Marina Mare Aperto
Exercise Mare Aperto 2019.

The Mare Aperto 2019 exercise headed by the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) is currently underway in the Central Mediterranean and will last until May 10. The exercise is focused on training and testing the abilities of the Commanders and Staff of the Naval Squadron, in conducting operations in areas of international crisis. Through the reproduction of a scenario characterized by a multidimensional threat and with increasing difficulty, ships and crews are practiced in the main activities of fighting on the sea and from the sea such as anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-ship activities, fighting illicit trafficking, crisis management in environments with conventional and asymmetric threat, in addition to managing on-board emergencies and sending an amphibious force from the sea to land in a cyber environment. 

The Mare Aperto 2019 involves assets from eight NATO countries - Italy, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United States -. The maritime component includes over 40 ships, 5 submarines and 30 embarked assets. The air component includes aircraft of the Italian and US Navy. In addition, the Italian Air Force participates with Eurofighter, AMX and Tornado combat planes to conduct reconnaissance missions, escort and suppression of enemy air defenses, a CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) aircraft for aerial surveillance, an MP-72A aircraft for maritime patrol and a KC-767A tanker to ensure air refueling. The Mare Aperto 2019 also involves the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier which guarantees Red Air activities thanks to the Super Hornets assigned to Carrier Wing 7.

The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group entered the European theater in early April to conduct joint operations with local allies and operate along with a second aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, to show the muscles to Russia.

US Navy Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing 7 (Photo by Capt. Nathan Ballou).

The Italian naval units host observers from the navies of 10 partner countries. The Open Sea 2019 also has an amphibious connotation, with the presence of a landing force composed of 400 Italian Navy riflemen, a military unit of the Italian Army lagoon regiment and 180 Spanish Navy riflemen.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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