NATO ships train with Royal Moroccan Navy

ESPS Blas de Lezo and Turkish frigate TCG Gokceada sail with Royal Moroccan Navy frigate Mohammed V and corvette Sultan Moulay Ismail. Photo: NATO MARCOM

Ships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) joined Royal Moroccan Navy ships for a series of exercises off the coast of Casablanca, Morocco on Tuesday.

SNMG2, consisting of flagship Spanish frigate ESPS Blas de Lezo and Turkish frigate TCG Gokceada joined Royal Moroccan Navy ships Mohammed V and Sultan Moulay Ismail for advanced maritime cooperation and training including a ship boarding exercise.

“As an active partner in the Maghreb and one of the nations bordering the strategically significant Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco is critical to the stability and security of the Mediterranean Sea,” NATO’s maritime command said, adding that the Moroccan Navy easily integrated with SNMG2 for the drills.

In early May this year, the Moroccan Navy also took part in exercises with the U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72). On this occasion, Moroccan patrol vessel P306 RMNS Commandant El Harti conducted maritime interdiction operations (MIO) and small boat defense procedures with the cruiser.

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