NATO’s Standing Maritime Group Two, with the German combat support ship EGV Bonn at the helm, sailed into the Souda Harbor, on the Greek island of Crete.
This is where the Greek frigate Salamis (F-455) joined the maritime group for the operations ahead.
The ships sailed into the harbor a day earlier as the bad weather prevented the group from carrying out planned exercises. This also turned the Souda Bay entrance into a demanding challenge, which was in the end successfully mastered.
Rear Admiral Jörg Klein, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, used the harbor stay to visit the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operation Training Centre (NMIOTC), die NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI-shooting-range) and the major of the Greek port-city Chania.
The ships’ crews participated in a ship-boarding exercise with a special board, search and seizure unit of the German Marines. The two-day training consisted of a theoretical and a practical part on board a specially equipped Greek Navy ship.
The SNMG2 commander supervised the sailing out of the harbor not from his ship, but from the Greek frigate Salamis. This allowed him to get acquainted with the capabilities of the new member of the group. Salamis’ embarked helicopter thereafter brought the commander back to EGV Bonn.
In the meantime, the Italian frigate ITS Libeccio, re-joined the group. Libecio had left the group prior to make a port-call in Italy before the group sailed into Aksay, Turkey.