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Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Exercises with Hellenic and Turkish Navies

AEGEAN SEA - SNMG2 have performed a series of exercises in the Central Mediterranean and Aegean Sea during Group’s deployment in the area.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Exercises with Hellenic and Turkish Navies 925 001 Hellenic Navy frigate Navarinon during a passing exercise in the Mediterranean on 23 April 2020 (Picture source: NATO)

The two Group’s units in the area, ITS Fasan and TCG Salihreis, conducted a PASSEX (Passing Exercise) with the Greek frigate Navarinon, consisting of different scenarios of tactical engagements, simulating multiple threats, including an air defence exercise against two aircrafts of the Hellenic Air Force F-16C/D. The three ships battled challenging weather with strong wind and rough sea in the west of Crete.

SNMG2 also exercised with two units from the Turkish Navy, the frigate Gaziantep and the fast patrol boat Ruzgar, in a complex sequence of communication and manoeuvring drills. This was performed near Aksaz Naval Base, where ITS Fasan and TCG Salihreis then sailed to perform a logistic stop. The SNMG2 and the two Turkish units demonstrated their inherent capability to train successfully under a very high standard of performance.

Despite the on-going global pandemic SNMG2, along with the other NATO Standing Naval Forces, has continued its deployment in the Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea. “The preventative measures put in place”, said RADM Fantoni “have enabled us to maintain our readiness unhindered, and are now part of the fundamental objectives of our mission”.

SNMG2 is one of four standing forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). To respond to contingency situations additional forces can be added to these groups, with the NATO command staff on board and the ships of the group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.

SNMG2 currently consists of frigates ITS Fasan, TCG Salihreis and HMCS Fredericton.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Exercises with Hellenic and Turkish Navies 925 002SNMG2 units along with Turkish Navy frigate Gaziantep and the fast patrol boat Ruzgar in formation during a manoeuvring exercise near Aksaz, Turkey on 22 April 2020 (Picture source: NATO)