NATO allies Greece, Turkey and Romania held a military drill in the Black Sea region, Oana Lungescu, the alliance’s spokesperson stated late Sunday to improve cooperation, practice air-maritime communications and build stronger relationships.
“The air-maritime integration training demonstrates NATO's capabilities, readiness and resolve to protect Allied populations; with our ships and aircraft peacefully operating off the Romanian coast we also assure the Allies in the region,” a written statement of NATO said.
NATO elaborated that Turkish F-16 fighters simulated attacks on the NATO ships, which trained in defense drills against these attacked while the Greek and Romanian F-16s, in a separate event, conducted similar training maneuvers with the Greek fighters attacking the ships which responded in a joint manner with the Romanian fighters. Subsequently, the Greek and Romanian fighters conduct air-to-air combat drills, it added.
According to NATO, the exercise included allied fighter assets from the Greek, Romanian and Turkish air forces, a NATO AWACS, a Romanian C-27 transport aircraft, a Turkish Military Patrol Aircraft and three Allied frigates from the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) – Italian Navy flagship Fasan, the Romanian Navy Regina Maria and the Turkish Navy Barbaros. SNMG 2 forces are transiting across the Black Sea and will take part in Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 after the ADEX.
NATO members frequently integrate Allied Air and Maritime assets “to improve interoperability, build trust and enhance readiness in the Black Sea region during combined joint training events.”
“The activities on July 2 underlined the Allies' commitment to collective defense and to maintain peace and preserve security in this region both at sea and in the air,” the statement read.