Warships from NATO’s standing mine countermeasure group 2 (SNMCMG2) joined the underway portion of the Romanian-hosted exercise Poseidon that is taking place between March 5 and 13.
The exercise as a whole is hosted by Romania this year and will include more than 1,500 sailors and 17 warships from seven NATO member states. Romanian contribution to the exercise includes a navy helicopter, two dive boats, a coast guard vessel and two MiG 21 aircraft from the Romanian Air Forces.
Exercise Poseidon is designed to enhance the open cooperation of navies for ensuring safe navigation routes with a focus on discovery and neutralization of underwater hazards such as sea mines.
Poseidon began in 2015 as a bilateral Romanian-Bulgarian naval exercise. The host for the exercise alternates each year between Romania and Bulgaria.
“Poseidon 2017 is a Romanian-Bulgarian annual bilateral exercise, carried out with the participation of naval and land forces through which we practice NATO tactics, techniques and standard procedures, to increase interoperability,” said Chief of Staff of the Romanian Naval Forces Rear Admiral Alexander Mirsu at the exercise opening ceremony in Constanta, Romania. “NATO exercises in the Black Sea of the bordering countries are not provocative or offensive. They are complex and carry a message of friendship and pursue interoperability growth.”
SNMCMG2 is led by Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz, Polish Navy, and comprised of Polish flagship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki, Spanish minehunter ESPS Duero, German minesweeper FGS Rottweil, Turkish mine hunter TCG Alanya and Romanian ROS Slt. Alexandru Axente.