Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) ships arrived in Riga, Latvia, today for a port visit, having recently completed exercises in the Baltic Sea with the Lithuanian Navy.
The Group is in the Baltic Sea to reassure allies in the region of the Alliance’s collective defense and to enhance NATO’s maritime force interoperability. Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS VICKSBURG (CG 69), HMCS FREDERICTON (FFH 337), TCG GOKSU (F 497), and HNLMS TROMP (F 803).
SNMG2 units were joined underway by LNS AUKSTAITIS (F 12) to practice ship-handling operations such as close-quarters maneuvering and replenishment at sea approaches.
The Group’s deployment to the Baltic Sea will also include training exercises with the Estonian Navy and participation in the multinational exercise BALTOPS 15. After a year as the commander for SNMG2, Williamson and his U.S. staff will turn over the reins of SNMG2 to Germany in late June.
During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership will meet with Latvian civic and military authorities to discuss matters of shared importance. The crews of SNMG2’s ships will have the opportunity to explore the city and enjoy the culture and history of the region.
Image: US Navy