Ships assigned to Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) have recently completed their latest Mine Counter Measure Exercise, (MCMEX), Exercise Ariadne 16, in the Gulf of Patras, Greece.
Led by Captain Ramazan Kesgin (Turkish Navy) SNMCMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasa with the NATO staff embarked, and minehunters ESPS Tambre and TCG Edremit.
The Group conducted MCM operations beside Greek naval, air and surface assets, along with a Romanian minesweeper (Coastal), and observers from the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Egypt and Qatar.
Exercise planning and execution followed NATO procedures and tactics and the scenario developed for Ariadne 16 was completely fictitious; bearing only coincidental resemblance to any real world situation. The MCM operations were planned and carried out in mined coastal waters and harbour entrances of Patras under the imminent danger of asymmetric threat.
Following poor weather conditions at the start of the exercise, units quickly recovered and gained momentum afterwards. The conduct of operations ran smoothly with exploratory and clearance MCM operations being performed by mine counter measures ships under an asymmetric threat environment. The realism of the exercise resulted in a favourable scenario by which SNMCMG2, Romanian and Greek units achieved full interoperability and cohesion over the course of the exercise.
The main goal of Ariadne , to enhance cooperation and improve the mutual training and interoperability among participating units and staffs during mine counter measures operations, was successfully achieved.
“SNMCMG2 was able to train, evaluate and further develop doctrine and tactics with the exercise Ariadne -16” said Capt. Ramazan Kesgin, the Commander of SNMCMG2. “It is always beneficial to exercise within a larger group of international units from the NATO alliance where all the participants demonstrate the interoperability and cohesion.”