Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) ships arrived in Barcelona yesterday for a port visit and to prepare to join forces with France’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group for a short period of combined exercises.
SNMG2 leadership will meet with local Allied authorities to discuss items of mutual benefit. Additionally, the groups’ crew members will enjoy a friendly basketball game with a local police force, and explore the city and surrounding areas.
“This visit is an excellent opportunity to engage with our Allies here in Spain, both on a professional and personal level,” said Commander, SNMG2, Rear Admiral Brad Williamson. “We also look forward to our exercises with the French Navy following this visit.”
Upon departure from Barcelona, SNMG2 will operate in conjunction with Task Force (TF) 473, France’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group. TF 473 and SNMG2 will conduct a series of exercises formulated to improve cohesion among NATO maritime forces. SNMG2 will then accompany TF 473 as it sails in the Mediterranean en route to support national tasking.
“We will be doing normal underway operations together such as replenishment at sea, coordinated anti-submarine exercises, and air-defence exercises,” said Lt. Grahame Flint, SNMG2 Staff Anti-submarine Warfare officer. “Operating with Allied forces is always a great learning experience and can make a positive impact on how well we can work together in the future on large scale exercises and operations”
SNMG2 is currently comprised of flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), Turkish ship TCG Turgutreis (F 241), and Canadian ship HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337) and is deployed in the Mediterranean serving as NATO’s maritime force dedicated to maintaining peace and stability in the region.