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SNMG1 completes operations in the Black Sea, port visit to Istanbul

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) concluded a visit to Istanbul July 27, following their participation in Exercises BREEZE and SEA SHIELD during Group’s deployment into the Black Sea.

Led by Rear Admiral Alberto Correia (Portuguese Navy), SNMG1 comprised during the Black Sea deployment the flagship NRP D. FRANCISCO DE ALMEIDA (F334), HNLMS TROMP (F803) and ROS REGELE FERDINAND (F221).

"SNMG1 combined activities with other allied and partner navies' assets provided the best possible example of NATO commitment to exercise and operate in a inclusive and effective manner in the Black Sea,” said Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio, Allied Maritime Command Chief of Staff.

The port visit to Istanbul concluded the deployment of SNMG1 in the Black Sea, after the group exercised with Allied and partner navies, enhancing multi-national interaction, cooperation and cohesion among all units involved.

BREEZE and SEA SHIELD exercises focused on anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-surface and mine counter-measures procedures, with participating units from the Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, Greek, Ukrainian and U.S. navies. The Units also exercised responses to simulated small boat attacks in shallow waters as part of their training opportunities. During Exercise BREEZE, the Group operated together with Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2).

"I can confirm that it was outstanding work by the Bulgarian and Romanian Navies to carry out exercises BREEZE and SEA SHIELD,” said Rear Admiral Correia. "I am more than happy with the performance of all SNMG1 Units over the last few weeks. It was an excellent opportunity to train within a multi-national environment in this very important and strategic area to NATO. The quick integration we were able to achieve with six different navies offered an outstanding opportunity to further enhance our skills with NATO nations and partners, crucial for maintaining the highest standards of interoperability.”

The group will resume patrols in Mediterranean contributing to maritime situational awareness in the region, also operating in support of NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

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