US Carrier Group Under NATO Command; Only Second Time Since Cold War

The US Navy’s USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier .
The US Navy’s USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier .

The US Navy’s (USN) USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and its strike group have been placed under NATO command for the second time this year, but only the second time that such a transfer of command has occurred since the end of the Cold War, according to NATO.

The US Navy Strike Group is participating in the wide ranging NATO Exercise Neptune Shield 2022 (NESH22), which will be conducted in the Baltic, Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas, between 17-31 May.

Nations already committed to a series of deployments in 2022 under Project Neptune include: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the UK as well as the United States.

According to NATO, bringing various USN warships under NATO control is designed to test and find solutions to “the complexities of integrating command and control of a carrier strike group, an amphibious ready group and a Marine expeditionary unit to NATO.” The formations involved comprise: the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and the Combined Task Force 61/2, which includes the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) from SIXTHFLT to STRIKFORNATO.

General Tod D. Wolters, commander, Supreme Allied Command Europe (SACEUR) said that NESH22 would “ strengthen our ability to seamlessly integrate maritime strike capabilities to support deterrence and defence….improving the capacity to coordinate with Allies in continuing vigilance in order to train for NATO multi-domain and joint operations.”

Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Jörg Vollmer added. “NATO’s commitment to promoting peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area is clearly expressed by the integration of our forces’ capability to rapidly respond in a time of crisis.”

by Andrew Drwiega