More than 180 ships from eight NATO countries are taking part in exercise "Northern Wedding" in the North Sea.
More than 180 ships from eight NATO countries are taking part in exercise "Northern Wedding" in the North Sea. The exercise, described as "medium scale" by the NATO command, has been constantly shadowed by Soviet aircraft.
Exercise "Northern Wedding" is one of a series regularly conducted to give NATO commanders and member nations opportunities to test combined plans and defences under simulated conflict conditions.
The navies of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the exercise.
This combined force is conducting fleet manoeuvres designed to defend North Sea and coastal convoys against submarine, air and surface attacks.
For the convoy exercise, some 30 merchant ships have been chartered from the European members of NATO.
Fleet commanders have reported that during almost the whole of the exercise the fleet has been shadowed by the Soviet aircraft. But they hastened to point out, this was considered almost standard practice.
Later, a Soviet warship which had been shadowing the NATO fleet, piped a traditional salute to British Rear-Admiral John Treacher. Rear-Admiral Treacher was on board the aircraft carrier, Ark Royal.