Sea Shield 18, biggest allied exercise on NATO’s Southeastern flank, at Constanta

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Sea Shield 18 will see the participation of more than 21 military ships, 10 fighter aircraft, a submarine, and 2,300 servicemen from several countries, as of Thursday, in the largest allied exercise of NATO’s Southeastern flank, according to a press release of the Romanian Navy General Staff (SMFN).

According to the quoted source, the participants in the Sea Shield 18, Americans, British, Bulgarians, Greek, Romanians, Spanish and Turks will apply standard NATO military fighting procedures against asymmetric, air, underwater and maritime threats, according to a scenario based on a fictitious geopolitical situation.

“The Romanian Naval Forces are taking part in the Sea Shield 18 with two frigates, two corvettes, two missile ships, two maritime dredgers, two mobile missile-launching detachments, auxiliary ships and combat divers, The Romanian Air Forces assure the combat sequences against air threats with 3 Mig-21 Lancers and, for the first time, the Romanian Land Forces will take part with an infantry detachment, of the 9th Mechanized Brigade “Marasesti”, according to the SMFN press release.

The same source says that the Turkish Marine Brigade has mobilized a submarine, a frigate, a patrolling ship, an MPA P 235 maritime patrol aircraft, Bulgaria will bring along the BGS Bodri corvette, the United States with a MPA P 8 Orion scout jet, Great Britain with three Typhoon planes, and Greece with officers of the General Staff.

Also, the Allied Maritime Command of NATO (MARCOM) is represented by the naval group SNMG – 2 (Standing NATO Maritime Group), that carries out activities in the Black Sea region, between May 1 and May 21, and is made up of the HMS Duncan British destroyer, the Bulgarian frigate GBS Drazki, the Spanish frigate SPS Victoria and the Romanian frigate “King Ferdinand.”

The multinational exercise Sea Shield 18 is the largest NATO exercise organized on the southern and eastern flank of the North-Atlantic Alliance in 2018 and proves the special capacity of the Romanian marines to plan, organize and lead training activities in the three environments, air, sea and land,” according to the SMFN press release.

Sea Shield 18 is part of the Naval Forces’ main objectives PLan in 2018 and offers the tactical framework for collective defence operations, according to Article 5 of the the North-Atlantic Alliance.

The official start of the exercise will take place on Friday, May 4, at the Passenger Terminal of the Constanta port, in the presence of Naval Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu, and May 5 through May 6, official visits of foreign military representatives at the Fleet’s Command and at the local authority of Constanta Municipality.

Moreover, both Romanian and foreign servicemen will carry out a series of specific activities in order to coordinate all sea activities, planned during May 7 to May 11.