AUGUSTA BAY, Sicily – Exercise Proud Manta 2013 (POMA 13), NATO’s largest anti-submarine warfare exercise, began in the Ionian Sea, Feb. 23.
Participants in POMA 13 include four submarines, 16 aircraft and eight surface ships from 10 NATO nations, including the United States.
POMA is an annual at-sea exercise focused on training submarines, ships and aircraft in their NATO Response Force (NRF) roles and missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and precursor operations.
“We are very excited to participate in NATO’s Proud Manta, the world’s largest annual anti-submarine warfare exercise,” said Rear Adm. Frederick J. Roegge, Commander Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South. “While the participants will have the opportunity to exercise a wide range of tactical military objectives, the real value of Proud Manta is improving our ability to work together in a dynamic environment.”
Training with other military forces enhances mutual awareness and maritime capability of the partner nations. POMA 13 helps create an environment that promotes maritime safety and security in the region, and interoperability among participating nations.
“Operating any ship, aircraft, or submarine in the maritime environment is never routine, so it’s even more challenging to coordinate eight surface ships, 16 aircraft and four submarines,” said Rear Adm. Roegge. “It requires precise planning, coordination, direction, and execution to ensure these platforms are in position to utilize their full range of capabilities, all the while providing for their safety.”
U.S. 6th Fleet units participating in the exercise are the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52), homeported in Norfolk, Va., and a P-3 aircraft from Patrol Squadron 4 out of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Participating countries include Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
POMA 13 continues through Mar. 8.