NATO Maritime Group Visits Casablanca
CASABLANCA, Morocco – Ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived in Casablanca for a scheduled 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), ITS Aliseo (F 574) , FGS Spessart (A 1442) and FS Marne (A 630).
During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership will meet with local Moroccan authorities and Navy officials to discuss issues of shared importance and to finalize an upcoming exercise at sea between SNMG2 and the Royal Moroccan Navy (RMN).
Morocco is one of seven countries in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), designed to foster communication and cooperation between NATO and the MD countries to address regional security and stability and foster mutual understanding.
"The relationships that we build with nations participating in the Mediterranean Dialogue are especially important today as we face a new and challenging security environment," said Williamson. "I am grateful to have the opportunity to train with our partners in the Royal Moroccan Navy, and to increase our understanding and awareness of the challenges they face in this region and how we can work together."
During the port visit, SNMG2 Sailors will visit local cultural and historical sites and participate in sporting activities with members of the RMN.
"For Aliseo, I look forward to the members of the crew as well as the other crews of SNMG2 ships to come into contact with a culture so ancient and special as that of Morocco because it is very important to understand the culture of our partners," said Cmdr. Mario Giancarlo Lauria, Commanding Officer, Aliseo. "And last but not least, we all are looking forward to training with the professional mariners of the Royal Moroccan Navy to improve our interoperability with our partners."
For more information about SNMG2, visit "Standing NATO Maritime Group 2" on Facebook.