Home » Aviation » NATO Allies Partner Up for High-End Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise

NATO Allies Partner Up for High-End Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise

Norwegian HNoMS Uredd (S305) sails in the core of 12 vessels international formation for Dynamic Mongoose Photo Exercise in 2017. NATO Photo

NATO partners are teaming up for a high-end anti-submarine warfare exercise that will test the ability of surface ships and ASW aircraft to find attack boats in deep water.

Dynamic Mongoose 2018 kicked off last week off the coast of Norway and includes forces from Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey and the U.S.

“The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills,” according to a news release from NATO Allied Maritime Command.

The exercise includes seven surface combatants, three ASW aircraft and two submarines. The U.S. contribution is a P-8A Poseidon ASW aircraft, a U.S. 6th Fleet spokesperson told USNI News on Tuesday.

“This valuable training opportunity will allow us, in conjunction with our NATO allies and partners, to enhance our ASW capabilities, improve interoperability and ultimately strengthen the alliances that bind our nations together in mutual commitment to regional security,” Cmdr. Chad Donnelly, commanding officer of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, said in a Navy statement.

While NATO gave a thin outline of this year’s exercise, previous descriptions of the Dynamic Mongoose series give hints to the nature of the drills.

“During the exercise, submarines will have to transit from one point to another, while surface vessels try to track them down and simulate an attack,” reads a description of the exercise from 2016. “Surface units will also have to transit between two points while under submarine threat.”

A P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 is parked on the flight line of Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. US Navy Photo

A P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 is parked on the flight line of Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland in 2016. US Navy Photo

Navy officials confirmed to USNI News none of the carrier escorts from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group are participating in the exercise. The strike group entered the Atlantic last week and is expected to participate in an exercise series with allied partners in the coming months. Truman deployed with a larger-than-average complement of escorts that are all capable of high-end submarine warfare.

Dynamic Mongoose follows the March iteration of the larger ASW exercise Dynamic Manta in the Mediterranean Sea.

U.S. and NATO forces have placed a greater emphasis on ASW exercises in the last several years as Russia has stepped up its submarine operations.

“It’s important for us to have the situational awareness of where those platforms are operating at all times,” U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Commander Adm. James Foggo told Stars and Stripes last month.

  • publius_maximus_III

    30-Year Old French Sub Sinks US Carrier Group
    (Source: compiled by Defense-Aerospice-DOT-com; published April 7, 2015)

    PARIS — The French Ministry of Defence has deleted from its website a news story relating how one of its nuclear-powered attack submarines, Saphir penetrated a US Navy carrier group and fictitiously “sank” the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt as well as several of its surface escorts (Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers).

    The deletion was not acknowledged, and simply implemented by replacing the original story by an error page.

    • PolicyWonk

      The French have a rather odd habit of trying to erase history, so this isn’t a surprise. If you go to Paris and visit Le Invalides, there are two major things I noticed:
      1. Around the rotunda of Napeolean’s Tomb, they list his victories, elaborately engraved in marble around the room; there is zero mention of his ill-fated Russian invasion, or Waterloo.
      2. Check out the WW2 exhibit (you have to hunt for it – it was on the third floor in the wing where the elevator never seems to work): they have all the German and French military gear used during the war on display, pictures, etc., of the Maginot Line. The only mention of the German invasion is more implied than anything else, because the only evidence of that even happening was a ~3×3 info-graphic (in some obscure location – I had to hunt for it – on the back of a door or something) of how the allies invaded Normandy, to ultimately liberate the nation.

      • Rocco

        That’s sad indeed!! The best way to forget is not to be reminded!!??? No wonder why they get internal issis attacks!

        • PolicyWonk

          The French also have a geographical disadvantage. The USA is blessed with two large oceans and (hopefully still) friendly neighbors.

          • publius_maximus_III

            We do have a nice base “CAMP” — Canada, Atlantic, Mexico, Pacific.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Have actually been there, PW. Beautiful gigantic “pink-ish” looking marble sarcophagus for The Little Corporal, if I recall correctly. We only saw it from above from a circular mezzanine. Did not have time to explore all the annexed military museums, but checked out all those cannon barrels standing around the courtyard, each with “Fleur de Lis” emblems cast around their peripheries. What odd decorations, the Lily of the Valley, for instruments of mass destruction. Sweet dreams they seemed to say.

        My favorite Palindrome: Able Was I Ere I Saw Elba.

    • RedStatePatriot

      These practice “War Game” results are kind of meaningless. The French put out a picture of am F22 in the Cross-hairs of a Rafel Fighter a few years ago claiming that an Rafel shot down an F22 in a mocj dog fight. What the of course failed to mention was that the Red Flag set up was with the planes Low and Slow with the Rafel staring out the “fight” on the F22’s tail. There are all kids of “set-ups” when you do war gaming, who knows what the test was for the story you quote. For all we know the setup might have started with an “Enemy” sub (the French one) already with the defensive ring of ASW assets. Its meaningless.

      • Duane

        Definitely not meaningless exercises. See my comment above

        It is quite likely the French SSN easily defeated a CSG. However, it is also the case that the 688 or Virginia class SSN assigned to escort the CVN also tracked and targeted and simulated a sinking of the French boat.

        SSNs killing CSGs, absent a 688 escort, is like shooting fish in a barrel. But it is still good practice for all involved. Practice may not make perfect, but it does make better.

    • Duane

      A quiet nuke SSN with modern sensors and weapons like Mk 48 ADCAP are deadly to CSGs. When I served back in the 70s on a 637 class, which was the quietest nuke boat in service at the time, we routinely cleaned the clocks of CSGs in similar exercises. The only way the skimmers even knew we were there amongst them was when we fired the obligatory smokes from the countermeasures tubes after each successful simulated attack. Unlike the old Mk 14s and Mk 37s, the Mk 48s never missed in our actual torpedo cert shoots up in British Columbia.

      So CSGs are extremely vulnerable to nuke SSNs. It is for that reason that the Navy developed the 688 class of SSNs in the 70s. They were much faster than the older 637 class and therefore had the speed to keep up with a CVN. And ever since the 688s entered service, they became a standard component of every CVN escort.

      The very best way to defeat a nuke SSN is with another nuke SSN.

      • Rocco

        Is that why the Swiss diesel sub sunk Big Teddy in simulated exercises???

  • publius_maximus_III

    Search on string “30-Year Old French Sub Sinks US Carrier Group”.

  • proudrino

    Funny how Turkey is able to still be a “participant” in NATO exercises- even as the nation becomes a one-man dictatorship. Kick the Turks out of the club.

    • DaSaint

      The exercise includes seven surface combatants, three ASW aircraft and two submarines.

      Standing NATO Maritime Group One:

      F-363 HDMS Niels Juel – Denmark
      F-828 HNLMS Van Speijk – Netherlands
      F-831 HNLMS Van Amstel – Netherlands
      F273 ORP General Tadeusz Kosciuszko – Poland
      Z-1 ORP Baltik – Poland (Tanker)
      F-101 ESPS Álvaro de Bazan – Spain
      F-495 TCG Gediz -Turkey

      Norway 2x Submarine

      P-3C Orion – Norway
      P-8A Posedion VP-10 -USA
      P-3C Orion – Germany

  • Ed L

    I am rooting for the Norwegian Submarine to be victorious

    • John Ciccone

      I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, the more I read about advances in submarine warfare, as well as advanced in anti-ship missiles, the more I get impression that surface vessels are becoming more and more vulnerable. It was only last week that I read of an air launched Russian hyper velocity anti-ship missile. My question is, are our carriers becoming dinosaurs?

      • Rocco

        Agreed except for your last sentence!! Although a vital asset we need them and amphibious assault ship’s! In my opinion at least 3 attack subs need to escort each group!

  • Paweł Kasperek

    SSK have good chance of win in this one… or at least scoring half-dozen kills before being sunk

  • Mattis2016

    Another exercise where Canada doesn’t participate. The RCN must be in dire straits.

    • Rocco


  • Chesapeakeguy

    ‘Dynamic Mongoose’? Who thinks these names up?