Extensive NATO naval base in the Mediterranean
The Pentagon announces that large-scale naval exercises of the NATO will begin next Monday in the Mediterranean, with the participation of the US aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman.
In the midst of escalating tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced that large-scale naval exercises of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will begin next Monday in the Mediterranean, with the participation of the US aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman.
The US Defense Department Spokesperson John Kirby announced the decision to hold NATO naval drills, which will include the participation of the USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier, a day after Russia announced it would demonstrate its own naval capabilities for two months, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, in January and February.
The aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman and its carrier group have been in the Mediterranean Sea since the middle of December when the US ordered the aircraft carrier to position itself there rather than in the Middle East.
Kirby claimed that these exercises have been in preparation since 2020 and have nothing to do with the current tensions around Ukraine, although "Neptune Strike 2022" is not included in the list of exercises scheduled for 2022 and published on the NATO website on December 14.
He said the operation in itself "is not designed to confront the scenarios that may occur in the Ukraine file," adding, "It is really a naval exercise by NATO, and it aims to test a wide range of naval capabilities that we are keen to continue strengthening."
USS Harry Truman was scheduled to join the Central Command's area of operations, but US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin decided at the end of December to keep it in the Mediterranean waters to "reassure" the Europeans amid rising tensions with Russia. The Pentagon stressed that the carrier's change of course "reflects the need for a continued presence in Europe."