NATO Maritime Forces Arrive in Tallinn
ALLINN, Estonia – Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group ONE (SNMCMG1) ships arrived in Tallinn Friday for a port visit.
Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS VICKSBURG (CG 69), HMCS FREDERICTON (FFH 337), TCG GOKSU (F 497) and HNLMS TROMP (F 803). The Group recently completed a passing exercise with SNMCMG1 and the Estonian Navy during SNMG2's Baltic Sea deployment.
SNMCMG1, led by Commander Peter Bergen-Henegouwen, has been participating in the Historic Ordnance Disposal operation OPEN SPIRIT 2015, hosted this year by the Estonian Navy. The Group currently consists of the German tender FGS DONAU (flagship) and the mine counter-measures ships BNS LOBELIA (Belgium), FGS AUERBACH (Germany), HMS QUORN (UK), ORP MEWA (Poland), HNLMS WILLEMSTAD (Netherlands), HNOMS RAUMA (Norway), FS ERIDAN (France), and LNS SKALVIS (Lithuania).
During the passing exercise, the ships of SNMG2, SNMCMG1 and the Estonian Navy joined to conduct air defense exercises, defend against simulated asymmetric attacks and practice ship maneuvering in close proximity, strengthening interoperability among Allied maritime forces.
"It was an honor to work with our Estonian Allies during this passing exercise," said Rear Adm. Williamson. "Each exercise we conduct enhances our force as we learn something new and improve our skills. We are looking forward to spending some time in the beautiful city of Tallinn and meeting some of the wonderful Estonian people who call this country home."
During the port visit, SNMG2 and SNMCMG1 leadership will meet with local civic authorities, while Sailors socialize with their Allied counterparts and enjoy some rest and relaxation exploring the area.