This weekend NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) have arrived in the Black Sea, to train and operate with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian, United States, Greek and Turkish Navies.
This training opportunity will begin with participation in the Bulgarian lead Exercise BREEZE 2015, an annual Maritime exercise, based on a Crisis Response Operation scenario, which aims to enhance interoperability through practice between the host nation, invited nations and NATO units. The exercise will also contribute to the reassurance of Black Sea nations by NATO.
Sponsored by the Bulgarian Navy, this exercise will involve 23 surface vessels and a Turkish submarine. There are numerous air assets participating: organic rotary wing aircraft from naval units along with fixed wing aircraft from the Bulgarian Air Force.
Led by Rear Admiral Silvestre Correia (PRT Navy), SNMG1 is currently composed by the Flagship NRP D. Francisco de Almeida (F 334), HNLMS Tromp (F 803) and ROS Regele Ferdinand (F 221). SNMCMG2 is led by Captain Ramazan Kesgin (TUR Navy) since last Thursday and the Group is currently composed by the flagship TCG BARBAROS, TCG ENEZ and ROS ALEXANDRU AXENTE. These NATO maritime forces possesses substantial sea-control, anti-submarine, anti-air warfare and mine-warfare capabilities.