NATO Ships Increase Alliance Interoperability in Romanian Exercise
BLACK SEA -- The ships of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) are participating in Romanian exercise Poseidon March 5-13, 2017 to increase Alliance navy interoperability and enhance the Alliance's ability to neutralize underwater hazards.
The exercise as a whole is hosted by Romania this year and will include more than 1,500 sailors and 17 warships from seven NATO member states. In addition a navy helicopter, two dive boats, a coast guard vessel and two MiG 21 aircraft from the Romanian Air Forces will provide added complexity to the exercise.
Exercise Poseidon is designed to enhance the open cooperation of navies for ensuring safe navigation routes with a focus on discovery and neutralization of underwater hazards such as sea mines.
"Poseidon 2017 is a Romanian-Bulgarian annual bilateral exercise, carried out with the participation of naval and land forces through which we practice NATO tactics, techniques and standard procedures, to increase interoperability," said Chief of Staff of the Romanian Naval Forces Rear Admiral Alexander Mirsu at the exercise opening ceremony in Constanta, Romania. "NATO exercises in the Black Sea of the bordering countries are not provocative or offensive. They are complex and carry a message of friendship and pursue interoperability growth."
SNMCMG2 is led by Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz, Polish Navy, and comprised of Polish flagship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki, Spanish minehunter ESPS Duero, German minesweeper FGS Rottweil, Turkish mine hunter TCG Alanya and Romanian ROS Slt. Alexandru Axente.
Exercise Poseidon began in 2015 as a bilateral Romanian-Bulgarian naval exercise. The host for the exercise alternates each year between Romania and Bulgaria. NATO Standing Groups regularly participate in exercises in the Black Sea to support interoperability, practice NATO standard procedures, tactics and techniques with Allied nations bordering the Black Sea.
Polish Navy Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz, who leads SNMCMG2, participates in a presail press conference for exercise Poseidon.