Air-Maritime Cooperation Enhances Shared Situational Awareness in the Black Sea

In the Black Sea, ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) were joined by maritime patrol aircraft from the Turkish Air Force and the US Navy. The sensors of all these units combined to produce an enhanced picture of maritime movements, both surface and sub-surface within the Black Sea. Simultaneously, airborne early warning aircraft including a NATO E-3A and a Hellenic Air Force EMB-145H working with control and reporting centres on the ground produced a recognised air picture.

SNMG 2 currently operating in the Black Sea includes the Italian Navy flagship Fasan, the Romanian Navy Regina Maria and the Turkish Navy Barbaros. Allied aircraft working alongside NATO Maritime Groups regularly participate in exercises in the Black Sea to improve interoperability and practice tactics, techniques and procedures.

US Navy P-8A Poseidon. Photograph: U.S. Navy.

Other current and recent U.S. and NATO military exercises in the Black Sea region:

  • The Swift Response airborne exercise in Bulgaria and Romania (as well as Estonia) in May with over 7,000 troops from 11 nations as part of the large-scale DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercises