The Pentagon announced on Friday that it would launch a major NATO naval exercise in the Mediterranean, with the participation of US aircraft carrier Harry Truman in the region in full tension with Russia, which also announced naval maneuvers. At the same time.
“The (Neptune Strike 22) exercise, which runs until February 4, aims to demonstrate NATO’s ability to coordinate the Air Force’s sophisticated naval strike force in support of the coalition’s defense and defense efforts,” the spokesman said. Pentagon, John Kirby.
He assured that the exercise was in preparation for 2020 and had nothing to do with the current tensions around Ukraine, although Agerpres said the Neptune Strike 2022 was not on the list of planned exercises for 2022 released by NATO on December 14, 2022.
“This exercise is not designed to deal with the kind of scenarios that may arise around Ukraine. It is actually designed for a wide-ranging NATO naval exercise (…) to test a wide range of naval capabilities, and we want to ensure continued strengthening,” Kirby added.
Russia on Thursday announced large-scale naval exercises in several seas in January and February. More than 140 warships and about 10,000 soldiers will take part in the exercise in January and February in the Mediterranean, North Sea, Okhotsk Sea, Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
John Kirby acknowledged that the tense situation with Russia had sparked discussions with the Allies over the conduct of the naval exercise. “After discussions with our NATO allies, it was decided to move it,” he said.
The USS Harry Truman and his fleet arrived in the Mediterranean on December 14. The U.S. aircraft carrier was due to join the Central Command (Centcom) operational area, but US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin decided to hold it in late December to “reassure” Europeans about friction with Russia in the Mediterranean.
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