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Forces are gathering in the Mediterranean Sea for NATO’s largest annual anti-submarine warfare exercise.

Eleven NATO nations using ships, submarines and aircraft are taking part in Dogfish ’04 in the Ionian Sea, east of Sicily.

The exercise will last from Thursday through March 3, according to a NATO news release.

It is the 29th year for the exercise, which tests anti-submarine, anti-surface and coastal surveillance operations.

Providing seven submarines are the United States, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey. Operating more than 130 missions from Sigonella, Sicily, will be 14 maritime patrol aircraft from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Italian shore-based helicopters from Fontanarossa, Sicily, will also participate, along with five NATO surface ships from Standing Naval Force Mediterranean, a French Frigate and two Italian corvettes.

Dogfish is controlled from the NATO Headquarters of the Commander Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South, and the Commander, Maritime Air, Allied Naval Forces South, in Naples, Italy.

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