ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki becomes flagship of NATO’s SNMCMG2

Captain Panagiotis Papageorgiou of the Hellenic Navy passes the NATO flag to Polish Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz as he assumes command of SNMCMG2. Photo: Polish Navy/Marcin Purman

A Polish commander is now at the helm of NATO’s standing mine counter measures group two (SNMCMG2) following a change of command ceremony in Polish Naval Base Swinoujscie.

Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz took over from his Greek counterpart, Captain Panagiotis Papageorgiou, who led the group aboard the flagship, a Greek replenishment ship class 701 C, HS Aliakmon (A 470) since July 29, 2016.

Papageorgiou led six ships as part of SNMCMG2 from German, Greek, Italian, and Turkish navies.

Commander Urbanowicz will lead from the new flagship for SNMCMG2, the Polish MCM command ship (511), ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki.

SNMCMG2 visited 15 harbours in six countries under the Greek command and undertook maritime situational awareness missions. The group also participated in mine clearance and historical ordnance disposal operations to make the seas safer for all traffic and three exercises including: Olives Noires, Nusret, and NAIAS.

SNMCMG2 is one of the standing NATO maritime groups that provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and in periods of crisis and conflict.

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