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NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group Visits Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria – This morning, five NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) arrived in Algiers for a scheduled port visit, during the Group’s deployment to the Mediterranean to enhance maritime security and readiness, and in support of NATO counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

Led by Captain Giovanni Piegaja, (ITA N), SNMCMG2 is currently composed of the flagship Italian frigate ITS AVIERE and the minehunters FGS HOMBURG (Germany), TCG ERDEK (Turkey), ESPS DUERO (Spain), and HMS GRIMSBY (UK).

Since Italy assumed command of SNMCMG2 in June, the Group has patrolled in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, conducting mine counter-measures activities and contributing to maritime situational awareness with regard to counter-terrorism operations.

Building upon the operational framework offered by the port visit, Commander, NATO Maritime Air, Rear Admiral Thomas Ernst is meeting with Algerian leadership to discuss numerous issues of shared importance, to include operation Active Endeavour, mutually beneficial training opportunities, and partnership within the Mediterranean Dialogue framework.

During the port visit, the Group will share its experiences in mine warfare operations with Algerian Navy officers and cadets and participate in activities designed to enhance understanding and friendship between the Algerian Navy and NATO Sailors.

Upon conclusion of the port visit, SNMCMG2 will participate in a passing exercise and tactical navigation exercise with Algerian Navy ships, while embarking Sailors to observe the exercises from aboard the NATO ships.  These activities at sea are designed to enhance interoperability and familiarity between naval partners.

"The Algerian Navy is a trusted and valuable partner in maintaining maritime security in the Mediterranean,” said Captain Piegaja.  "With this visit, we hope to broaden NATO’s relationship with Algeria, identifying new opportunities to cooperate in operations and exercises at sea.” 

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