Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) participated in Exercise NIRIIS 2014 earlier this month near Crete.
The exercise focused on training participants in Maritime Interdiction Operations, including asymmetric threat scenarios, helicopter and flight-deck training, mine countermeasures and counter-piracy exercises.
Participants formed Task Group 770.03, which consisted of SNMCMG2 vessels FGS RHEIN, HMS BROCKLESBY, ITS CHIOGGIA, and FGS WEILHEIM, as well as HS EVROPI and HS KANARIS.
The exercise began in port under the watchful eyes of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), which trained the participants in boarding techniques, hailing procedures and other tactics.
Once at sea, an asymmetric threat exercise simulated speedboat attacks and attacks by low-flying aircraft during the departure from port. The next event involved flight-deck training and mine countermeasures operations, featuring intensive training for sonar operating personnel and their clearance diving teams, as well as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations.
The Task Group next participated in an Anti-Air Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare exercise accompanied by the Greek frigate HS KANARIS, which helped oversee the actions of the minehunting vessels. Several simulated attacks by helicopters and fast patrol boats were successfully repelled. The minehunting vessels concluded the exercise by conducting a lead-through operation, in which they guided frigates on a channel through a simulated mine danger area.
SNMCMG2 Commander Matthias Seipel said: “I thank the Hellenic Navy for the great hospitality and the excellent training opportunities.”
Press Release, March 28, 2014; Image: NATO ACO