A Norwegian submarine seen during a training exercise in 2017. Photo: NATO

An exercise to test the NATO alliance’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities kicked off last week off the coast of Norway, coming several months after a larger such operation carried out last March.

Dubbed Dynamic Mongoose, the training includes forces from Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the US, according to a report from USNI.

“The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills,” a news release from NATO Allied Maritime Command said.

As part of a similar exercise in 2016, surface ships and ASW aircraft took part in a simulated attack on submarines.

NATO has been placing a greater emphasis on ASW training in recent years, USNI said, as Russia has stepped up submarine operations.

“It’s important for us to have the situational awareness of where those platforms are operating at all times,” US Naval Forces Europe-Africa Commander Admiral James Foggo told Stars and Stripes last month.

Russia has boasted recently of its ability to operate undetected, claiming in March that an  Akula-class nuclear-powered attack sub tracked a “foreign” submarine for days in Arctic waters without being detected.

“From the [moment] first contact with the foreign submarine happened, it lasted for several days and that was a record for the navy in terms of tracking,” Aleksandr Brazgun, a crew member of vessel, said on Russian state television.

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