Türkiye is hosting a NATO navy exercise that started on Sept. 11 and will end on Sept. 22 in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea as it is designated as the organization’s maritime command.
The exercise, in which the Turkish Naval Forces Command, as well as the Land Forces, Air Force and Coast Guard Command participated, commenced at the Aksaz naval base in the Aegean town of Marmaris.
In the exercise, the operational readiness level of the amphibious elements of the Turkish navy, which will take over the NATO Response Force’s Maritime Component Command task from the U.K. in January 2023, will be evaluated.
The NATO exercise, the largest to be conducted in the Mediterranean this year, employs nearly 8,000 personnel, including 52 ships, four submarines, 34 aircraft, 16 helicopters, two UAVs, amphibious marine infantry units, underwater teams and coastal troops.
Within the framework of the exercise, in which 15 NATO member countries also take part, port training and coordination meetings are held.
Operational readiness and force integration training will also be conducted between Sept. 13 and 17.
The Turkish High Readiness Maritime Task Force (TURMARFOR) appears in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, which has turned into an area of tension in recent years as a result of long disagreements with Greece.
The exercise dubbed Dynamic Mariner 22 will validate the interoperability of NATO’s maritime forces at a tactical level and serve as the certification venue for TUMARFOR, according to NATO.
“The exercise will improve NATO Maritime Forces’ interoperability and implement the newest NATO concepts and doctrines,” NATO said on its website.
TCG Sancaktar, participating in the exercise, serves in the navy as an amphibious tank landing ship, entirely built in Türkiye.
In NATO’s Long Term Commitments Plan, Türkiye was assigned the duties of commander of the naval elements in 2023 and 2028, commander of the amphibious task force in 2025 and commander of the landing force.