This morning, seven NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) arrived in Casablanca for a scheduled port visit, during the Group’s deployment to the Mediterranean to enhance maritime security and readiness, and in support of NATO counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.
Led by Captain Giovanni Piegaja, (ITA N), SNMCMG2 is currently composed of the flagship Italian frigate ITS AVIERE and the minehunters FGS HOMBURG (Germany), TCG ERDEK (Turkey), HS EVROPI (Greece), ESPS DUERO (Spain), HMS GRIMSBY (UK), and BNS GODETIA (Belgium).
Since Italy assumed command of SNMCMG2 in June, the Group has patrolled in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, conducting mine counter-measures activities and contributing to maritime situational awareness with regard to counter-terrorism operations.
SNMCMG2 was greeted upon arrival in port by Chief of Staff, NATO Allied Maritime Command, Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio.
During the port visit, Captain Piegaja and his staff will meet with Royal Moroccan Navy leadership to discuss numerous issues of shared importance, to include counter-terrorism operations, mutually beneficial exercises, and partnership within the Mediterranean Dialogue framework. The Group will share its experiences in mine warfare operations with Royal Moroccan Navy officers and cadets and participate in activities designed to enhance understanding and friendship between the Royal Moroccan Navy and NATO Sailors. Captain Piegaja will also meet with the Mayor of Casablanca.
Upon conclusion of the port visit, SNMCMG2 will participate in a passing exercise and tactical navigation exercise with Royal Moroccan Navy ships, while embarking Sailors to observe the exercises from aboard the NATO ships. These activities at sea are designed to enhance interoperability and familiarity between naval partners.