Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2), one of NATO’s four Standing Maritime Forces, entered the Black Sea on Thursday, 3 July 2014, in a regularly scheduled deployment to enhance NATO’s solidarity and readiness in the region.
Led by Captain Giovanni Piegaja (ITA Navy), SNMCMG2 is currently composed of flagship ITS AVIERE (ITA Navy frigate), ITS RIMINI (ITA Navy), TCG AKÇAY (TUR Navy) and HMS CHIDDINGFOLD (UK Navy).
Since Italy assumed the command of SNMCMG2 on 19 June in Catania, the Group has patrolled the Mediterranean Sea and conducted mine counter-measures exercises and force integration training, as well as supporting NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. SNMCMG2’s deployment to the Black Sea will include participation in the Bulgarian Navy led Exercise BREEZE.
“During SNMCMG2’s deployment in the Black Sea, we look forward to working with international partners in Exercise BREEZE to improve our operational and tactical capacity and interoperability in a multi-threat environment,” said Capt. Piegaja. “Our deployment is a clear demonstration of our commitment to Alliance’s strong solidarity and collective defence.”
Press Release, July 04, 2014; Image: NATO