Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO visits Aksaz Naval Base while supporting counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR
AKSAZ, Turkey – This week Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) entered in the port of Aksaz, Turkey for a planned port visit during its assignment to NATO's counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.
After the group assemble in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), the German flagship frigate FGS HAMBURG, followed by the Canadian frigate HMCS WINNIPEG, the Spanish frigate ESPS SANTA MARIA and the Spanish combat support ship ESPS CANTABRIA set sails towards the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian frigate ITS BERSAGLIERE and the US American destroyer USS DONALD COOK joined the group re-enforcing the capabilities of the force while performed force integration and inter-operability training, exercising NATO standard procedures.
Shortly before entering the port of Aksaz, the Italian frigate left the force and the US American destroyer was detached for other duties while the Turkish frigate TCG YILDIRIM has joined the group and will set sails with the other four units.
During this port visit, the Commander of SNMG2, Rear Admiral Jörg Klein will meet, with high-ranking representatives of the Turkish Navy. The days in port will be used by the crews and staff of SNMG2 to fine-tune the planned operations in preparations for the at-sea period ahead. After Group departure from Aksaz, SNMG2 will continue actively contributing to Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.
"Albeit much work has to be done preparing the next missions, an important aspect from these port visits are the excellent opportunity for the crews to get in contact with the local cultures. Whenever possible we combine these experiences with community activities, supporting those in need" said Rear Admiral Klein (DEU Navy), Commander SNMG2.
Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR is NATO's only active Article V operation, which began about 14 years ago as a part of NATO's multi-faceted response to current security threats in the Mediterranean Sea and Straits of Gibraltar. Its mission is to conduct maritime operations aiming to increase maritime situational awareness, actively engage with NATO partners in the region and to demonstrate NATO's resolve to protect against terrorism.