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NAPLES, Italy — Fourteen nations and about 2,000 forces will participate in a major three-week submarine escape and rescue exercise beginning Friday in the Italian waters of the Gulf of Taranto, according to NATO officials.

Submarines from Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey will be placed on the bottom of sea, each with a full crew onboard, and then rescued, according to a NATO news release.

NATO’s Sorbet Royal exercise, which takes place every three years and started in the early 1990s, will feature forces for the first time from Russia, Ukraine and Israel, spokesman Phil McGuinn said.

Italian, British and U.S. rescue forces, together with specialist divers, medical teams and support and salvage ships from Canada, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, will work together on rescue and medical procedures, the release states. Italian, British and U.S. Air Force units will also participate.

The exercise will end with a coordinated rescue and evacuation.


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