Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO concludes busy 2015 with exercises with the Hellenic and Israeli Navy
18 Dec 2015
Atlantic Ocean –Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) has conducted a full programme during recent weeks, training in a NATO training centre on Crete (Greece), conducting an at-sea exercise with the Hellenic Navy, and visiting with Israeli counterparts during a port visit to Haifa.
On November 24, the German frigate HAMBURG and the Turkish frigate YAVUZ pulled into the port of Souda Naval Base on Crete. The following three days were dedicated to training at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC).
On a former navy ship, one of the training facilities of the NMIOTC, a group of sailors practiced the search of a vessel and small arms handling and firing during boarding operations. Another group exercised the handling of speedboats and the approach of a suspicious vessel. A third group of sailors was instructed in the tactics and legal fundamentals of maritime interdiction operations.
The next scheduled event consisted of two tightly filled days at sea with the Hellenic Navy. On November 30, SNMG2 left Souda Bay and one exercise followed another. Ten units of the Hellenic Navy participated, composed of six frigates, two submarines, a fast patrol boat and an auxiliary ship. Additionally, two F-16 fighter aircraft and an airborne early warning aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force supported the exercise.
After a short stop in Souda, SNMG2 ships FGS HAMBURG and HDMS ABSALON entered the port of Haifa on 07 December. The visit featured a reception aboard HAMBURG for 150 guests, including ambassadors and defence attachés from many nations, invited guests from the region, representatives of the Israeli Navy and Israeli Defence Forces and members of the SNMG2 ships’ companies.
"Haifa is the last port visit before our ships set sail towards their homeports”, said the Commander SNMG2 Rear Admiral Jörg Klein. "An intensive, demanding but also diversified time is lying behind us and each one of you deserves being at home for the holidays with your family and friends.”