U.S. Sixth Fleet Joins France’s Polaris 21 Exercise

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter [equipped to carry Standard Missile- 3s that have destroyed intercontinental ballistic missiles in tests and that was recently involved in maneuvers off the Russian coast in the Black Sea], U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Commander, Task Force 67, and the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Lenthal (T-AO 189) began participation in the French-led multilateral maritime exercise Polaris 21 in the Mediterranean Sea, Monday, Nov. 22. 2021.

The U.S. forces joined Italian, Greek, Spanish, and the U.K. maritime forces to develop high-end carrier strike group-level warfighting interoperability and proficiency among the NATO allies during France’s maritime exercise that began Nov. 18.

…“Participating in multi-national exercises, especially with an allied forces carrier strike group, ensures Porter is always ready to execute any mission.”

French and allied units scheduled to participate include French Aircraft Carrier Charles De Gaulle [the only non-American nuclear aircraft carrier] and Landing Helicopter Dock Tonnerre, Destroyer Alsace, Provence, Aquitaine, Fregate Aconit, Forbin, Latouche Tréville, Corvette Commandant Ducuing et Commandant Birot Auxiliary ships Marne and other French ships, French Army and French Air Forces units.

NATO participation includes the Italian Navy destroyer ITS Carlo Bergamini (F-590), the Spanish Navy destroyer SPS Méndez Nuñez (F 104), the Hellenic Navy Frigate HS Adrias (F-459), and U.K. Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon (D35).

Polaris 21 enhances high-level operational preparation and stimulates strategic and tactical creativity amongst NATO allies and partners through a sustained and intense combat training scenario across multiple domains of warfare above and below the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

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Increasingly, NATO allies are expanding their high-end maritime warfighting capabilities by integrating into exercises and carrier strike group deployments. Last month, the Norwegian frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310) joined the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) strike group for their Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and is scheduled to accompany the CSG on their upcoming deployment.

Other recent integration examples include USS Porter’s participation in the U.K. Royal Navy’s Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST) exercise in October, and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) integration into the U.K. Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth deployment….