This past weekend, two NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) paid a visit to the port of Tunis.
The port visit provided the crew of the SNMG2 ships a welcome break from the high tempo supporting NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR (OAE), actively deterring threats to maritime security and trade.
Under the command of Rear Admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río, Spanish Navy, the Group included the Spanish flagship ESPS ALVARO DE BAZAN and TCG SALIRHEIS of the Turkish Navy, and the ships’ crews enjoyed several opportunities to interact with their Tunisian counterparts.
While in port, SNMG2 hosted a visit to the flagship by Tunisian Naval Academy students and conducted courtesy calls to the Coast Guard headquarters and the mayor. The Spanish ambassador to Tunisia visited the flagship, and the Turkish ambassador also visited SALIRHEIS while the ships were in port. The visit concluded with a passing exercise (PASSEX) between the NATO ships and their Tunisian counterparts as the ships departed the port.
“It was a very friendly, productive visit,” said Díaz del Río. “We appreciate the opportunity to work together with our valued partner in the Mediterranean Dialogue, which makes it easier for us to operate together in the future.”
Press Release,October 30, 2013; Image: NATO