NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two conducts naval training with Maltese Navy

According to information published by NATO on December 3, 2020, Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) visited Malta and conducted training with the Maltese Naval Forces between November 27 and December 1, 2020.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Maltese Navy Patrol Boat P62 and SNMCMG2 interaction in the Mediterranean Sea on 1 December 2020. (Picture Source Hellenic Navy / NATO)

The flagship of the force, HS Aliakmon, had the opportunity to train together with the Maltese maritime squadron during a passing exercise on December 1, where seamanship and maritime security drills were conducted. Exercises such as these provide a unique opportunity for NATO and partners to exercise potential real-life scenarios, building on interoperability between both forces.

Malta, part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, regularly works with Allies and other partner countries on issues such as maritime situational awareness and border security in the Mediterranean region.

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 onboard and the ships of the group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) standing mine countermeasures Immediate Reaction Force. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability. 

The SNMCMG2 is a component of the NATO Response Force (NRF). Operationally, SNMCMG2 reports to the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), which is one of the three component commands of Allied Command Operations. The SNMCMG2 is under the command of Captain Dimitrios Katsouras from the Hellenic Navy and as of 23 November 2020, the fleet consists of Lüneburg-class replenishment ship, HS Aliakmon from the Hellenic Navy and Engin-class minehunter, TCG Edremit from the Turkish navy.