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NATO conducting anti-submarine exercise

NAPLES, Italy, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Eight countries are taking part in a NATO anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Ionian Sea to strengthen interoperability and defense cooperation.

The exercise, called Noble Manta 09, is NATO's largest anti-submarine warfare exercise that takes place annually, NATO reported.

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Turkey, Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the exercise as part of an effort to improve communication among the NATO countries and strengthen the coordination of NATO's strategic capabilities.

"The exercise will demonstrate NATO's determination to maintain proficiency and improve interoperability," the release said.

Noble Manta 09 is taking place near Sicily in the Ionian Sea through Feb. 27 and involves submarines, surface ships and aircraft. Officials said the exercise is also a chance to test NATO Response Force operations and counter-terrorism.

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