The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and USS Porter (DDG 78) participated in multilateral exercises with Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 and 2, respectively, Oct. 27-29.
In the Baltic Sea, Arleigh Burke joined SNMG 1 to conduct presence operations and demonstrate NATO interoperability in the Baltic region, Oct. 29. SNMG 1 consists of Canadian Frigate HMCS Fredericton (FFH337), Dutch Frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831), Portuguese Frigate NRP Corte-Real (F332), and Spanish Frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón (F 102).
“The ability to conduct tactical maneuvering and flex advanced combat capabilities demonstrates the strength of our NATO alliance and provides a bold counterweight to adversarial influence in the European theater,” said Cmdr. Patrick Chapman, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke. “We look forward to continued operations with our NATO allies.”
Meanwhile, in the Aegean Sea, Porter sailed with SNMG 2 for communication serials and ship handling and precision maneuvering alongside SNMG 2 ships, Flagship Italian Frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F591), Turkish Frigate TCG Gokceada (F494), German Tanker FGS Spessart (A1442) and Romanian Frigate ROS Regina Maria (F222). The ships also conducted an Air Defense Exercise featuring Portuguese F-16 aircraft currently stationed in Riga, Latvia.
These exercises provided the opportunity to strengthen our relationships with NATO allies and partners, while extending the reach of the Alliance and improving interoperability and cohesion among nations.
“Integrating with our NATO allies and partners demonstrates our ability to combine forces quickly and efficiently to be stronger together,” said Capt. Kyle Gantt, Commander, Task Force 65. “Simultaneously operating two forward deployed destroyers with NATO allies on opposite ends of the continent demonstrates the reach of NATO and our commitment to stability throughout the region.”
The Standing Naval Forces are under the control of NATO Allied Maritime Command, which responds to Allied Command Operations. These Naval Forces consist of Standing NATO Maritime Groups 1 and 2 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups (SNMCMG) 1 and 2. This multinational, integrated force is continuously available to perform tasks ranging from participating in exercises to conducting NATO missions. These forces are part of the maritime component of the NATO Response Force.
Arleigh Burke and Porter are two of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to conduct a wide range of missions and operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.