Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) recently completed its third Black Sea deployment under the command of Turkish Navy Captain Ramazan Kesgin.
SNMCMG2 started its deployment on July 8 in support of NATO’s assurance measures regarding alliance resolve and commitment to collective defense, and to enhance maritime security in the region.
SNMCMG2 included the flagship TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasa (Turkey) and the mine counter-measures vessels TCG Edincik (Turkey), ESPS Turia (Spain) and the ROS SLT. Alexandru Axente (Romania).
While in the Black Sea, SNMCMG2 participated in the Bulgarian lead exercise Breeze 2016 in vicinity of Burgas, Bulgaria and Bulgarian territorial waters. Breeze is an exercise based on a Crisis Response Operation scenario and builds interoperability among the NATO units.
Units and personnel from Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Turkey, the United States joined the Bulgarian Navy during this exercise.
“This exercise has permitted increased mutual knowledge of allied nations and enhances the interoperability among participants units of diverse characteristics. The exercise covered a variety of areas such as maneuvering, asymmetric threat, damage control and mine warfare,” said Lieutenant-Commander Enrique García Morera, Commanding Officer of ESPS Turia .
SNMCMG2’s second planned activity was exercise Sea Shield 2016 in vicinity of Constanta, Romania in Romanian territorial and international waters in the Black Sea. Sea Shield is a Romanian Navy led maritime anti-submarine exercise also based on a crisis response operation scenario and open to NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations. Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 units from Canada and Poland also participated in this exercise.