Greek mine warfare drill Ariadne 17 concludes

Photo: Hellenic Navy

Ships from eight countries have concluded their participation in the Hellenic Navy-led mine countermeasures (MCM) exercise Ariadne 17.

The exercise took place between March 31 and April 7. The at-sea phase started April 3 in Greek territorial waters after a planning and harbour phase was conducted at Patras Naval Base in Greece.

The core of the MCM forces was comprised of SNMCMG2 ships with the Polish command ship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki in the lead. Overall, the participants included 14 ships of different classes from Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey as well as several explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, a ship-based helicopter and Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

The exercise Command Task Force was embarked on board the Greek frigate HS Navarinon.

“The exercise was an ideal occasion to enhance our skills in MCM operations as a Group. The simulated hostile environment was very close to the one we could face in real life, thanks to which we were all able to tighten our bonds and multiply our experience to better contribute to our common task we are all currently fulfilling in the Standing NATO Group”, Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz, SNMCMG2 commander, said.

During Ariadne 17, SNMCMG2 was represented by the flagship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki, Spanish minehunter ESPS Tajo, Turkish minehunter TCG Alanya and the German minesweeper Rottweil. The Group was complemented with two additional ships, Spanish minehunter ESPS Duero and Romanian minesweeper ROS Axente.

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