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NATO strengthens cooperation with Royal Moroccan Navy

NATO strengthens cooperation with Royal Moroccan Navy

CASABLANCA, Morocco – (May 18, 2016) – NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU.02) recently capped a robust port visit in Casablanca, Morocco with a Passing Exercise and Boarding Exercise off the coast of Morocco.

SNMG2 TU.02 led by Commander Trevor MacLean (CAN N) included HMCS FREDERICTON (FFH 337) and Italian Frigate ITS ALISEO (F574).  Met warmly by the Moroccan naval authorities, the ships involved in the port visit had an ambitious schedule of events which were important on both a technical training level and community bridge-building level as well.  Moroccan naval officers were welcomed aboard HMCS FREDERICTON for a tour and a Luncheon.

In conjunction with this visit Deputy Commander Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier (FRA N) paid a visit to Casablanca and to Rabat at the Royal Moroccan Navy Headquarters to discuss issues of mutual interest. Vice Admiral Paulmier was received by the Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Navy, Vice Admiral Mohamed Laghmari, and discussed the status of NATO’s anti-terrorist Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR is supported by the Royal Moroccan Navy whose contribution adds significantly to Maritime Security in the Western Mediterranean.

"In the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue, NATO and the Royal Moroccan Navy have built a strong partnership. This has been very much reflected by the level of talks and the outstanding reception offered to the MARCOM delegation,” said Vice Admiral Paulmier. "The Inspector general of the Royal Moroccan Navy, Vice Admiral Laghmari, and his staff, have shown a great interest in working closely with NATO through the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP). Given the value and the capabilities of the Royal Moroccan Navy, and our mutual understanding, this cooperation will strengthen.”

During the remaining days of the port visit there was a particularly effective training opportunity with SNMG2 TU.02 and partners.  NATO Special Operations Command and Control Element (SOCCE) arranged to have Canada’s Enhanced Naval Boarding Party (ENBP) work together with multinational Special Operations Forces (SOF).  The exercises included scenarios which highlighted the NATO standard for shore and sea-based training.

HMCS FREDERICTON has been practicing boarding exercises with NATO Allies as part of its commitment to enhance and promote stability in the Mediterranean Sea.  This new exercise was aided greatly by the commitment to the training exercise by Spain, who specifically embarked SOF on their frigate and extended her port visit to Morocco to work with the group.  The ships involved in the exercise included Spanish frigate SPS CANARIAS (F86), Italian frigate ITS ALISEO (F574), and Moroccan frigate ALLAL BEN ABDALLAH (615). 

SNMG2 TU.02 is part the multinational, integrated maritime forces that comprise the Standing NATO Maritime Groups. These vessels are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions. These groups provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability and help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits and enhance interoperability among Allied naval forces.

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