The US and Spanish naval vessels, deployed under Standing Nato Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), are participating in the Italian Navy’s exercise Mare Aperto (MA) 22-2.

The SNMG2 vessels departed from Naval Station Taranto, Italy on 3 October to take part in MA 22-2 in the Mediterranean Sea region.

Scheduled to take place between 3 and 27 October, the MA 22-2 exercise aims to enhance situational awareness and strengthen the capabilities of the participating forces.

It is being conducted in collaboration with the European Union (EU) partners and other allied nations.  

SNMG2 includes the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and Spanish Navy’s Alvaro de Bazan-class guided-missile frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon (F 105).

The ships will be joined by other air and naval assets from different countries, along with the Italian Navy’s aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (C 550).

SNMG2 commander and US Navy rear admiral Scott Sciretta said: “The ability to train and fight as interoperable and interchangeable units is one of the key elements of the task group’s success.

“By doing this we are better positioned to deter and defend alliance against all threats in maritime domain, uphold freedom of navigation, secure maritime trade routes, and protect sea lines of communication.”

MA 22-2 exercise is designed to train and test commands, crews and staffs by conducting several drills in a realistic, at-sea and multi-dimensional environment.

The latest iteration of Mare Aperto includes a series of training events focused on the maritime warfare and amphibious operations.

The exercise will provide maximum freedom of decision-making authority to the commanders at sea.

It will also be supported by political and legal advisors along with other experts in public information.