Türkiye hosts Eastern Mediterranean-2023 Invitation Naval Exercise

Türkiye hosts Eastern Mediterranean-2023 Invitation Naval Exercise

Marmaris, The Gulf Observer: The Eastern Mediterranean-2023 Invitation Naval Exercise, organised by the Turkish Navy, began in the Eastern Mediterranean, hosted by Türkiye.

Ships, personnel, and observers from nine countries participated in the naval exercise that began Saturday.

A briefing was provided to observers and press members on the Turkish landing ship TCG Sancaktar anchored at Aksaz Naval Base in the Marmaris district of the country’s Mugla province.

Rear Adm. Huseyin Tigli, the fleet commander, recalled devastating earthquakes that hit southern Türkiye earlier this year, underlining that the exercise would involve training and execution in search and rescue missions and transporting humanitarian aid. He also pointed out that the TCG Anadolu would play an active role in the exercise.

Turkish Col. Osman Diler also spoke during the briefing about the exercise’s definition, participants, and objectives. He said Eastern Mediterranean-2023 would continue in the Eastern Mediterranean until November 25 under the command of the Türkiye Navy.

He emphasised that the drill aimed to simultaneously assess operational capabilities in the Turkish Naval Forces, as well as civilian and public institutions, NATO’s Permanent Task Force units, and other countries under the command of the Turkish Maritime Force (TURMARFOR) Headquarters.

Diler also said that the naval exercise, planned in accordance with NATO Exercise Planning Procedures, would be directed and managed by a 115-person Exercise Command Center at the Naval Warfare Center.

“NATO Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG-2) elements will also participate in the exercise,” he said, adding that Türkiye’s participating forces would include 24 ships, ten helicopters, five unmanned aerial vehicles, three maritime patrol aircraft, and four submarines.

Türkiye will also be fielding a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence team, as well as two submarine defence teams, an amphibious marine infantry battalion, three submarine attack teams, three army helicopters, three airborne early warning and control aircraft, 20 F-16 jets, and coast guard boats.

The country’s Interior Ministry, Health Ministry, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, and the Turkish Red Crescent will also be attending, he added.

The exercise scenario consisted of main and secondary events, including asymmetric threats, CBRN, regional maritime control, evacuation of non-combatants, humanitarian aid, natural disaster support, naval piracy, and collaboration and guidance activities for maritime transport, according to Diler.

“From November 19 to November 21, training for asymmetric threat, photex, surface gunfire, land bombardment, surface warfare, submarine warfare, mine countermeasure operations, amphibious operations, and search and rescue, including actual live-fire exercises, will be conducted,” he further said.

Diler added that following the preparation training, from November 21 to November 23, a free-play phase would occur in the Eastern Mediterranean, including scenarios for humanitarian aid and natural disaster support.