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NEWS | Nov. 17, 2022

Five Allied Carrier Strike Groups Patrol Waters in NATO's Area of Operations

By SHAPE Public Affairs

This occurrence presents an opportunity for Allied nations to coordinate credible combat power throughout the Euro-Atlantic Area and showcases NATO cohesion and interoperability.

Participating forces comprise the Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) formed in support of the French Navy Charles De Gaulle, the Italian Navy ITS Cavour, the United Kingdom Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth, and the United States Navy’s George H.W. Bush and Gerald R. Ford.

An MH-60S Nighthawk helicopter, attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, takes off from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Nov. 11, 2022.
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | 221111-N-ET093-1041 An MH-60S Nighthawk helicopter, attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, takes off from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Nov. 11, 2022. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 is the offensive air and strike component of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush Carrier CSG. The squadrons of CVW-7 are Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, VFA-103, VFA-136, VFA-143, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, HSC-5, and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46. The George H.W. Bush CSG is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Curtis Burdick)

Although each nation’s forces are operating in support of their own mission objectives, the advanced cooperation shows unity towards the collective defence of the Alliance. Ships and assets from various allies and partners are included in the groups, and the activity is coordinated with the Standing NATO Maritime Groups 1 and 2.

“NATO routinely demonstrates its cohesion, coordinating with multiple international maritime assets at once,” said Commander, NATO Allied Maritime Command Vice Admiral Keith Blount. “This opportunity demonstrates our ironclad commitment to the stability and security of the Euro-Atlantic Area and the strength of our collective capability."

“Five carriers within our operating area presents a further opportunity to consolidate our approach to air defence, cross-domain cooperation and maritime-land integration,” he said.

There is a continuous presence of Allied aircraft carriers around the NATO area of operations, and it is common for multiple CSGs to be deployed simultaneously. The multi-carrier deployment is an opportunity to test the cooperation and practice NATO’s Deter and Defend concept as it leverages a deliberate rhythm of military activity across all geographic areas of the Alliance, as well as across all operational domains and functional areas.

Allied maritime forces and NATO Maritime Groups regularly patrol the waters around Europe to assure Allies of the maritime commitment to collective defence.