- Three NATO Carrier Groups Are Exercising Together In The Mediterranean
by THOMAS NEWDICK. FEBRUARY 7, 2022, https://www.thedrive.com/
Two Russian Navy Slava class cruisers are also underway in the Mediterranean and could be joined by a third that’s now in the Black Sea.
Three different NATO carrier groups are conducting joint operations in the Mediterranean Sea in a powerful demonstration of the alliance’s maritime power as the East-West crisis over Ukraine continues. The latest drills involve the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, or HSTCSG, which has been integrating over a two-day period with the French Task Force 473, centered upon the carrier Charles de Gaulle, and an Italian strike group based around the carrier Cavour. Alongside all this, the Russian Navy has also been engaged in a flurry of activity in the region, with a host of different warship movements taking place against the backdrop of the situation in Ukraine.
Last week the HSTCSG took part in the NATO-led Neptune Strike 22 exercise, during which the carrier strike group was handed over to NATO control. This is the first time an American aircraft carrier has operated under the auspices of the alliance for any reason since the end of the Cold War. Neptune Strike 22 also involved the Cavour strike group, and the amphibious command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), the flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet. Meanwhile, elements of Task Force 473, including the Charles de Gaulle, departed Toulon naval base in the Mediterranean on February 1 as part of the Clemenceau 22 deployment.