I added the classified Sixth Fleet sponsored exercise Noble Dina 12 exercise to my list of military exercises today. This year’s U.S.-Israel exercise runs from March 26-April 5.
The exercise, ongoing since at least 1999, focuses on submarine and anti-submarine warfare in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Greece has been a participant since last year, and the exercise, according to the Greek press, is based out of Souda Bay naval base on Crete.
Last year, Noble Dina 11 took place from April 3-14 and included reportedly included two Greek submarines and four Greek Air Force F-16 Block 52 fighters. According to the U.S. Military Sealift Command, during last year’s exercise fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha conducted astern refueling with two Israeli ships, while Maritime Prepositioning Force ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat served as a “high-value unit” for the surface action group operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, presumably a simulated target.
According to defencenet.gr and the Greek Reporter, the U.S., Greece, Israel exercise has all sorts of anti-Turkish political messaging involved. Defencenet.gr says that the scenario for Noble Dina this year from Crete to Haifa “bears great resemblance to the Turkish aeronautical forces in this particular military operation scenario.”
The Turkish press reports that the “first phase will take place near the island of Meis, a small island close to the southern Turkish district of Kaş, and south of Cyprus before proceeding to Israel’s Haifa port.” It says that Greece was invited to the war games this year by Israel.