NATO Dynamic Manta 2019
Copyright: Gianni Scuderi

Exercise NATO Dynamic Manta 2019

Also this year we were on board the naval units and on the ASW aircraft to follow the annual exercise of the forces of the “Atlantic Alliance” where the participants will refine their skills and test the tactics against the underwater threat in a live scenario … as always the DYMA also represents an important “test” for the armed forces of each participating nation.

The “Dynamic Manta 2019” (DYMA19) exercise kicked off on February 26th which, together with the “Dynamic Mongoose” carried out in the North Sea, represents an excellent training opportunity for the armed forces of the nations taking part: surface units and Underwater, airplanes and personnel from ten allied nations met in the central Ionian Sea to train together with the ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and ASUW (Anti-Surface Warfare) battles.

Since the end of the Second World War, the potentially enemy submarines that cross in the areas of NATO influence have always been a challenge to which the Atlantic Alliance has always been committed to fighting, carrying out preventive activities aimed at reducing or eliminating this threat.

Unfortunately, it has been established that the tactical and technical preparation required for conducting ASW coordinated activities, both aerial and surface, is, so to speak, “perishable” if not subjected to constant training. On the basis of these maintenance needs of the “operational readiness” DYMA is born, with the aim of providing the possibility of practicing in a real simulated and common scenario, determined by the constant interoperability between surface, underwater and air forces; moreover the training scenarios with increasing difficulty, ranging from low to high complexity, allow the exercise to coordinate the procedures and the operations between armed forces belonging to different countries and operating in a multi-threat context.

The peculiarity of the Dynamic Manta also consists of the “live” evaluation of every single ASW operation, carried out by an “In-Stride Debriefing Team” (IDT) made up of ASW experts in a special Sigonella AB command, able to process and produce in real time a detailed analysis of the operation of each single unit thus allowing each crew to make changes or fine tune the ASW tactics adapting them to the complex and changing real context … furthermore each unit, both surface and underwater, will have opportunity to conduct a series of operations with the possibility of being in turn “hunter or prey”. All this gives the DYMA a very important value in the context of the annual multi-national exercises for the duplicity of the training themes.

With DYMA19, the forces deployed in support of multi-threat training scenarios include approximately 3,000 military, surface and underwater naval units as well as fixed and rotary Maritime Patrol Aircraft assets from Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Greece , Great Britain, Holland and United States. Italy, the country hosting the exercise, provides logistical support to the air force forces with the MM naval base of Augusta, the port of Catania and with the Italian Air Force air base of Sigonella.

For Italy the FREMM class “Alpino”, the 212 class “Sciré” submarine and also the Italian Navy HH-101s of the 3rd Helicopter Squadron based at Maristaeli AB Catania participate. The Allied Maritime Command (AMCNATO), NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), NATO Maritime Air Command (MARAIRNATO) also take part in the exercise under the command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).

The United States participates with the P-8A Poseidon, Turkey with a SH-60 and a P-235, the Netherlands with an NH-90, Canada with a CH-148 Cyclone and a CP-140 Aurora, Spain with a SH-60 and a P-3M Orion, France with an Atlantique 2 and Germany with a P-3C Orion. Some of these helicopters are embarked on their naval units.

The author and Aviation Report thank for the availability, active cooperation and courtesy shown: NATO Maritime Command Northwood; Royal Netherlands Navy, Italian Navy, Italian Air Force, Ejèrcito del Aire, Commodore B.Boots Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, Rear Admiral A.C. Lennon Commander Submarines NATO Deputy Chief Staff Submarines, C.Amm. A.Petroni (MARICOSOM), Com. S. Feenstra C.O. HNLMS EVERTSEN, Col. Pil. G.Chiratti Comandante 41° Stormo and Sigonella AB, CC. Ozkan Yuksel PAO Media NATO Maritime Command, Lt. Pablo Garcia Hernandez P.I. 22 ° Grupo Orion, 1° M.llo C. Savoca P.I. 41° Stormo.

Text and images: Gianni Scuderi