Naval strike and support force based in Portugal NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and US Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) succeeded completed the Neptune Strike 2022.2 (NEST 22.2) vigilance activity.

Held between 14 and 28 October, NEST 22.2 is the eighth phase of NATO’s Project Neptune.

The two-week activity proved the alliance’s joint capability and reinforced their commitment to deterrence and territorial defense.

It involved 19 allied countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Portugal, Canada, Norway, Poland, Belgium, and others.

As part of NEST 22.2, NATO military personnel from various allied nations worked together to design, prepare and execute several complex multi-domain evolutions.

It specifically includes naval and interdiction activities, aerial refueling and rehearsal events in allied airspace, as well as conducting air-ground integration with allied nations such as Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary and North Macedonia.

In addition, the activity saw the George HW Bush Aircraft Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG), Albanian and Croatian ships sailing in formation in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

The ships of the three nations were also joined by members of the UK’s Littoral Response Group (LRG) and Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group (SNMCMG) 2.

Such evolutions and scenarios were intended to define CSGinteroperability within NATO’s command and control architectures.

One of the key elements of NEST 22.2 was NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s visit to the US Navy’s Nimitz-class ship USS George AW Bush (CVN 77) on 25 October.

Stoltenberg said: “[Neptune Strike-22] is a perfect example of a transatlantic relationship – Europe and North America working together in NATO.

“[Nato’s] force helps prevent any miscalculations by sending a clear message: NATO will protect and defend every inch of allied territory.

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