Over the weekend, the ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) entered the port of Barcelona, Spain, for a routine port visit, following a period of support to the counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR (OAE).
SNMG2 currently consists of the flagship German frigate FGS HAMBURG, the Turkish frigate TCG YILDIRIM and the Italian frigate ITS ALISEO. While in Barcelona, operational, technical and logistical preparations of the ships for the next at-sea periods will take place. The Group staff, as well as crew from FGS HAMBURG and TCG YILDIRIM will finalize the planning of their participation in Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015.
The ships of SNMG2 spent a busy month of September at sea, taking part in the air defense and electronic warfare Exercise DYNAMIC GUARD and the anti-submarine warfare Exercise DYNAMIC MANTA, before turning their attention to counter-terrorism operations.
After a routine port visit in Catania on the Italian island of Sicily, SNMG2 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) conducted a manoeuvring exercise. During the exercise, SNMCMG2 guided SNMG2 through a mine cleared channel while all eight units worked to keep the same distance and speed within the formation while TCG YILDIRIM hovered overhead. Upon completion of the joint exercise, the two NATO naval forces proceeded to their assigned operations areas.
During support to OAE, the main tasks for SNMG2 were to monitor shipping lanes and check suspicious ships. The Group’s training paid off when the Turkish boarding team successfully boarded of a suspicious merchant vessel.
TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015 is the biggest and most ambitious NATO exercise in more than a decade. The maritime component of this exercise will be composed of an impressive number of ships and submarines, including all four of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces. Additionally, several maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters and Marines from different nations will participate.