Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 2021, the 11th in a series of NATO sponsored live Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) exercises was held 12 to 24 September in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Aksaz, Turkey. The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) ran exercise is tied to the annual Turkish Navy exercise Kurtaran and hosted by the Turkish Navy. Assets and personnel from Italy, Turkey together with personnel from Canada, Greece and Spain, United Kingdom and the United States also took part in the submarine escape and rescue training scenarios. Qatar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia were present as the observers.
Training regarding providing air to the submarine utilizing remote-operated vehicles and divers, placing a rescue chamber over the submarine and rescuing the submarine crew was also conducted.
Assets and personnel participating in the exercise, repeated the training each time with different assets including Italian Navy submarine ITS Todaro, Turkish Navy Submarines TCG Canakkale and TCG Anafartalar in order to improve interoperability between Allied units.
A submarine laid over the seabed representing a sunken submarine and training followed locating the lost submarine by search and rescue ships, aircraft and equipment. After establishing a rescue village at sea over the submarine, casualties were transferred to TCG Alemdar, the Search and Rescue Ship where they received first medical aid including re-compression operations and evacuation of the casualties to the hospital ashore from onboard.
The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) is an organization that aims to facilitate an international response for a distressed submarine and to improve the ability to respond to a call for assistance through its coordination role. Although established by NATO, ISMERLO supports all nations and pursues the involvement of global submarine-operating nations and focused on the humanitarian aspect which is saving lives at sea. ISMERLO also provided support and expertise during the search and rescue efforts after real-life accidents with Argentine Navy Submarine San Juan in 2017 and Indonesian Navy Submarine KRI Nanggala in April 2021.