Poland Takes Command from Greece of Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two
NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom – Polish Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz assumed command of Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2) today during an Operational Handover of Command ceremony held at Naval Base Swinoujscie in Poland.
Captain Panagiotis Papageorgiou of the Hellenic Navy turned over command of the group after leading aboard the flagship, a Greek replenishment ship class 701 C, HS Aliakmon (A 470) since July 29, 2016. He led six ships as part of SNMCMG2 from German, Greek, Italian, and Turkish navies.
Upon assuming command, Captain Papageorgiou stressed the importance of continuous presence, which SNMCMG2 did by visiting 15 harbours in six countries and conducting maritime situational awareness missions. The group also participated in mine clearance and historical ordnance disposal operations to make the seas safer for all traffic and three exercises including: Olives Noires, Nusret, and NAIAS.
Commander Urbanowicz will lead from the new flagship for SNMCMG2, the Polish MCM command ship (511), ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki.
SNMCMG2 is a multinational integrated force that projects a constant and visible reminder of NATO's solidarity and cohesion afloat in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The Standing NATO Maritime Groups provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and in periods of crisis and conflict. They also help to establish Alliance presence, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support transformation and provide a variety of military maritime capabilities to ongoing missions.