Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella hosted Exercise Dynamic Manta 2018, a NATO led anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare exercise featuring 11 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) from 8 different countries.
Dynamic Manta is held yearly out of NAS Sigonella while commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 assumes its NATO role as maritime air controlling authority (MACA). MACA Sigonella hosts NATO elements and is responsible for briefing every air crew, ensuring safety of flight, providing real-time debriefing products, and for the first year ever of overall exercise control staff.
Whether for an exercise or a NATO operation, MACA Sigonella is accustomed to its dual-hatted role, and this exercise was no different. MACA Sigonella watch teams expertly managed both U.S. 6th Fleet operations while simultaneously relaying safety of flight reports from air borne Turkish P-235s, French Atlantique-IIs, Canadian CP-140s, Spanish P-3Ms, German P-3Cs, Italian and United Kingdom EH-101 Merlins, and US P-8A Orions flying in support of Dynamic Manta.
“Every year Dynamic Manta is a challenging exercise for both the participating units, and ourselves as MACA Sigonella,” said Capt. Bill Ellis, commodore, MACA Sigonella. “This year was no different and the challenges we overcome together whether being logistical, operational, or language barriers continue to prove NATO is the world’s premiere war fighting alliance.”
Dynamic Manta 18 executed out of NAS Sigonella from March 5 -15. MPA from Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S. participated. 91 MPA sorties were executed from NAS Sigonella during the exercise.
Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 flew the P-8A Poseidon for the aircraft’s second year supporting Dynamic Manta.
CTF 67 serves as the MACA for all NATO MPA deployed or detached to the Mediterranean in support of exercises or operations.
Lt. Brian F. O’Bannon