NATO concluded its anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare exercise Dynamic Manta (DYMA24) in Catania, Italy, March 8.

Led by Commander, Submarines NATO at Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, Dynamic Manta converged ships, submarines, aircraft, and personnel from nine Allied nations in the Mediterranean Sea showcasing the Alliance’s commitment to collective defense.

Participating units had the opportunity to conduct a variety of exercise serials across multiple warfare domains including a submarine emergency surface, winching exercise between both Spanish and Turkish helicopters and submarines, and extensive tactical communication and maneuvering drills.

Submarines took turns hunting and evading, closely coordinating their efforts with the air and sea surface units. By fostering increased proficiency and interoperability among member nations, DYMA24 underscored the Alliance’s readiness to address evolving security challenges in the maritime environment.

In today’s multi-threat, multi-domain warfighting environment, our forces must leverage the collective strength of the Alliance to build and understand the entire operational picture from seabed to space and everything in between, Dynamic Manta allowed our forces to integrate air, surface, subsurface and SOF assets enabling them respond swiftly and decisively to simulated threats as a unified Allied team. I am extremely proud of the work done here and I am confident in our defensive capabilities.

This year, for the first time at a tactical level within DYMA, Special Operations Forces (SOF) added another layer of complexity to the exercise. Greek maritime Special Operations Forces rehearsed daytime and nighttime boarding operations at sea with an Italian submarine and then conducted a special reconnaissance training ashore, increasing the Alliance’s readiness for discreet insertions and extractions when and where required.

The exercise involved units and personnel from nine NATO nations: surface ships from Greece, Italy, Spain, Türkiye, and the United States including the ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2; submarines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Türkiye; maritime patrol aircraft from Canada, Germany, Greece, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and maritime patrol helicopters support from Italy.

As the host nation, Italy provided support in Catania and Augusta Harbors, the naval helicopter base in Catania, Naval Air Station Sigonella, and Naval Base Augusta.
MARCOM’s In-stride Debriefing Team was an invaluable training tool and provided immediate feedback to participants. This capability optimized the training experience enabling real-time adjustments and improvements.

“This kind of major exercise allow us to understand where our doctrine can be improved, and where the technology has to improve, giving us the chance to find the key factors of development that deserve research efforts,” Commander, SNMG2 Italian Navy Rear Admiral Pasquale Esposito said. “In the complex scenarios that our units have to face, technological superiority is a key factor that has to be maintained, and this kind of exercise allow us to lead the improvements where they are needed.”

DYMA is one of nearly a dozen MARCOM-led maritime exercises held each year in addition to numerous national exercises that increase readiness in defense of the Alliance. Its sister exercise, Dynamic Mongoose, is held in the cold waters of the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap.

MARCOM is the central command of all NATO maritime forces and the MARCOM Commander is the primary maritime advisor to the Alliance. Like its land and air counterparts (LANDCOM and AIRCOM), MARCOM reports directly to NATO’s Allied Command Operations (ACO), which is located in Mons, Belgium.

By Editor