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Oct 18 2021

STRIKFORNATO Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team concludes training in Italy

CATANIA, ITALY – In order to maintain the necessary level of training and high state of readiness, STRIKFORNATO's Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team (OLRT) conducted a training deployment at the Italian Naval Air Station Catania (NASCAT) 12-15 October 2021.

The objective of this training was to conduct a NATO Support Mission to Sicily under the scenario of rapid response to Mt. Etna's volcanic eruption.

As soon as the OLRT arrived, it started to liaise and coordinate with the Italian Navy Role Players of host nation authorities, international organizations/non-governmental organizations (IOs/NGOs), and other stakeholders. NASCAT provided the OLRT with a helicopter flight to assess the "damage" of Etna's eruption.

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Part of their training was to establish a deployed secure communications system to develop situational awareness, begin coordination and maintain a Battle Rhythm with the STRIKFORNATO Joint Operations Centre (JOC), in Oeiras, Portugal. To achieve this goal, the OLRT integrated the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) Detachment Maritime Ashore Support Team (DET MAST) which brought equipment and expertise to bear in facilitating communications for effective Command and Control.

Prior and during the deployment, the OLRT received media training so they would know how to interact with the media, assuring that they would be capable of promoting NATO's military aims and objectives by communicating accurate information in a timely manner to various audiences.

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This three-day training was only possible with the outstanding support of the Italian Navy. It is a strong testament to their professional abilities that they were able to fully support STRIKFORNATO's OLRT, while simultaneously conducting their national exercise "Mare Aperto 2021".

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STRIKFORNATO's OLRT can deploy within 48-hours of notification and contributes to gaining early, first-hand situational awareness in theatre, facilitating the rapid establishment of liaison and conducting reconnaissance in a designated area.

On order, STRIKFORNATO will provide a Joint Battle Staff under SACEUR's direct Operational Command (OPCOM) to deliver a rapidly deployable and scalable headquarters capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations, primarily through the integration of U.S. naval and amphibious forces, in order to provide assurance, deterrence, and collective defence for the Alliance.

Story by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO

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