In a bid to bolster maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, the European Union and the United States conducted a two-day naval exercise on March 23 and 24, 2023, with the participation of the destroyer USS Paul Hamilton, Spain’s frigate Reina Sofia, and Italy’s frigate Carlo Bergamini.
- The exercise was conducted as part of the EU and US commitment to patrolling and exercising high seas freedom of navigation. Its primary objective was to enhance interoperability and coordination between the navies of both parties. The exercise featured professional exchanges on boarding procedures, ship navigation, and training designed to improve interoperability and integration.
- The decision to conduct the joint naval exercise was made during the EU-U.S. High-Level Consultations on the Indo-Pacific held on December 2, 2022. The activity was deemed a success and further strengthened the maritime cooperation between the EU and the US.
- Italy’s flagship aircraft carrier Cavour will reach the Indo-Pacific by the end of 2023 (or early 2024 at the latest).
- The flagship’s mission will be preceded by the Morosini offshore patrol vessel, “which will complete a four-month training cruise.”
According to a US State Department note, “[t]he EU and the United States reaffirm their commitment to further pursue coordination and complementary work for regional maritime security to support freedom of navigation and other internationally lawful uses of the sea in the Indo-Pacific.”
- “The exercise forms part of the shared commitment of the EU and United States to work towards practical maritime cooperation and support a free and open Indo-Pacific, in line with documents such as the EU Strategic Compass, the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and the US Indo-Pacific Strategy.”