NORWEGIAN SEA — The U.S. 6th Fleet conducted a bilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise with the U.K. above the Arctic Circle on May 1, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and the 6th Fleet said.
Four ships from two nations, a U.S. submarine, and a U.S. P-8A maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft worked together in the Norwegian Sea to conduct training in the challenging Arctic conditions.
For the exercise, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers USS Donald Cook and the USS Porter and fast combat support ship USNS Supply were joined by the Royal Navy’s HMS Kent. The U.S. sub and the P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 supported the training. This drill reinforced the combined training that the nations received last month while participating in the U.K.’s Submarine Command Course.
“For more than 70 years, 6th Fleet has operated forces across the region in support of maritime security and stability. Our regional alliances remain strong because of our regular operations and exercises with partner navies, and we welcome this opportunity to work collaboratively at sea, while enhancing our understanding of Arctic operations,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, the 6th Fleet’s commander.
The multinational anti-submarine exercise in the High North, made up of about 1,200 Sailors from the U.S. Navy and Royal Navy, is the latest in a series of U.S. ships operating above the Arctic Circle.
In 2018, elements of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group and the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group operated above the Arctic Circle to support a NATO exercise, Trident Juncture. In 2019, the forward deployed destroyer USS Donald Cook and a SAG from U.S 2nd Fleet led by the USS Normandy and the USS Farragut also operated separately above the Arctic Circle.
“We are working with our partners to enhance our combined capabilities as we conduct maritime security operations and training in the Arctic region,” Franchetti said. “Our ships must be prepared to operate across all mission sets, even in the most unforgiving environments. This is especially critical in the Arctic, where the austere weather environment demands constant vigilance and practice.”