While Zapad-21 maneuvers in training areas in Russia and Belarus will garner more attention, the September 10-16 exercise will also include high levels of Russian Navy activity — and close observation by NATO.
The alliance will of course watch Zapad-21 activities on land, sea, and air. Member nations and the NATO Intelligence Enterprise will consume any open source information Russia makes available; those nations bordering Russia and Belarus will listen across the electromagnetic spectrum; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) flights will collect material on activities at training ranges from international airspace; and at sea, maritime patrol aircraft and surface ships will keep a close watch on the Russian Navy.
These operations at sea create the possibility of close interactions between NATO and Russian forces, which have to be carefully managed. However, naval operations as they occur from the High North to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean will offer insight into the global, strategic aspects of Russia’s exercise. Läs artikel