Three ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) arrived in Piraeus Nov. 26, for a scheduled port visit during the Group’s deployment to the Mediterranean to enhance maritime security and readiness, and in support of NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation Active Endeavour (OAE).
During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership, the Hellenic Navy and local authorities discussed numerous issues of shared importance and toured the Hellenic fleet before returning to the Mediterranean in support of OAE.
The Group’s Rear Adm. Brad Williamson said:
SNMG2 most recently supported Operation Active Endeavour, directly contributing to the maritime situational awareness in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR (OAE) was launched as an Article V operation, in support of the Alliance’s collective self-defense.
Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N) since July, SNMG2 is currently composed of the flagship USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), HMCS Toronto (FFH 333) and ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (F 102).
Since July, the Group has conducted multiple exercises and port visits along the North American coast and the Mediterranean, conducting high level and high tempo training and contributing to maritime situational awareness and the overall security of the Mediterranean. These included participation in NATO’s Response Force certification Exercise Noble Justification and the Turkish-led Exercise Mavi Balina.
Recent SNMG2 activity in support of counter-terrorism operations included the proactive boarding and search of merchant ships in the Mediterranean. The crews of the merchant vessels were cooperative with the boarding teams as they verified the cargo and documentation. Once the SNMG2 ships confirmed that everything was in order, the merchant ships continued to their destination ports.
Press release, Image: MARCOM