SNMG2 Conducts Sailor Cross-Pollination Exercises
BALTIC SEA – Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) recently completed the final cross-pollination (CROSSPOL) event of the group's U.S.-led deployment.
CROSSPOL is designed to give Alliance Sailors the opportunity to spend one to two days aboard another Allied ship. While aboard, Sailors are assigned running mates with similar responsibilities, and are able to follow their counterparts and experience the shipboard culture and customs of a different navy.
"The purpose behind CROSSPOLs is to give our Sailors a chance to see what Navy life is like for their Allied counterparts," said SNMG2 Staff Intelligence Officer Lt. Suzanne Sharp, CROSSPOL coordination officer. "They spend a few days aboard the ship, experiencing what the workflow is like, as well as enjoying their unique culture, like food and everyday sailor life. What sailors end up realizing is that we all speak Navy."
Throughout the year-long deployment, SNMG2 units have conducted a total of 35 CROSSPOL events for over 450 sailors among 19 ships from 10 different nations.
"The SNMG2 CROSSPOL program was a huge success," said Vicksburg Training Officer and CROSSPOL Liaison, Lt. Darvin Marshall. "It was an excellent opportunity for our Sailors to learn first-hand how other navies operate and was vital to our contribution to the NATO mission."
Fifty-four Sailors from the current flagship Vicksburg have been able to spend time aboard an Allied ship during the Vicksburg's six-month deployment with the group.
"Meeting and forging bonds with our Allies during my CROSSPOL was a very satisfying experience," said SNMG2 Staff Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Skyler Cain. "Not only did I learn from their methods and practices, I also grew in experiencing their culture and way of life."
The response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with many Sailors reporting a beneficial and educational experience.
"The opportunity to CROSSPOL over to French supply ship FS Marne was one of the most rewarding experiences in my naval career," said LS Leigh Jowett, a Naval Combat Information Operator on board SNMG2 ship HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337). "It offered a unique perspective on how one of our NATO partners operates while at sea, and provided a platform for us to share knowledge about our two countries. It also opened a door to make new friends, one of which is now visiting me in Canada for my wedding. The whole venture is something I will remember as a highlight of my time with SNMG2."
For more information about SNMG2 visit "Standing NATO Maritime Group 2" on Facebook.