Israel is participating, for the first time, in a three-week long NATO naval exercise that began Friday in Italy, the U.S. Army’s official newspaper “Stars and Stripes” reported.
Israel, Russia, and the Ukraine are participating in the military exercise for the first time, a senior NATO official said.
NATO holds similar exercises once every three years.
The ‘Sorbet Royal 2005’ exercise is the largest live submarine escape and rescue exercise ever conducted. It is being held in the Mediterranean off the coast of Taranto, Italy.
The exercise will test international submarine escape and rescue personnel, equipment and procedures necessary to cope with the most extreme submarine rescue missions and will involve ships, aircraft and submarines from 14 nations.
During the exercise, four submarines, from Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, will be placed on the ocean's bottom, each with up to 52 men onboard, while rescue forces with a range of sophisticated rescue vehicles and systems from the U.S., Italy, France and the UK, together with Special Forces divers, medical teams and support and salvage ships from Israel, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the UK, will work together to solve complex disaster rescue problems in a variety of difficult scenarios.