Portugal-headquartered Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and the US Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) have successfully completed the vigilance activity Neptune Strike 2022.2 (NEST 22.2).

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

The two-week long activity proved the alliance’s joint capability and reinforced their commitment towards deterrence and territorial defence. 

It involved participation of 19 allied nations, including the UK, France, Germany, the US, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Portugal, Canada, Norway, Poland, Belgium, among others.

As part of NEST 22.2, the Nato service-members from various allied nations worked together to design, prepare and carry out several complex multi-domain evolutions.

It specifically included maritime and interdiction activities, air-to-air refuelling and rehearsal events in the allied airspace as well as performing air-to-land integration with allied countries, such as Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary and North Macedonia.

Furthermore, the activity saw the George H W Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG), Albanian and Croatian vessels sailing in formation in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

The three nations’ vessels 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 aimed to determine CSG’s interoperability 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 vessel USS George A W Bush (CVN 77) on 25 October.

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

“[Nato’s] strength helps to prevent any miscalculation by sending a clear message: Nato will protect and defend every inch of allied territory.”