SNMCMG2 in Ariadne 17 Exercise
MEDITERRANEAN SEA – On April 7th, 2017, ships of Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2) completed their participation in the Hellenic Navy-led mine countermeasures (MCM) exercise Ariadne 17. The exercise is designed to enhance MCM operational interoperability amongst international participants.
The sea phase commenced April 3rd in Greek territorial waters after a planning and harbour phase was conducted at Patras Naval Base in Greece. The exercise Command Task Force was embarked on board the Greek frigate HS Navarinon.
The core of the MCM forces was comprised of SNMCMG2 ships with the Polish command ship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki in the lead. Overall, the participants included 14 ships of different classes from Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey as well as several explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, a ship-based helicopter and Mirage 2000 fighter jets.
The aim of the exercise was to simulate a full-scale MCM operation in which the minehunters were tasked to clear the lines of communication for the arrival of main naval forces and humanitarian aid as well as steering clear of danger posed by simulated asymmetric threats and attacks from the air.
"The exercise was an ideal occasion to enhance our skills in MCM operations as a Group. The simulated hostile environment was very close to the one we could face in real life, thanks to which we were all able to tighten our bonds and multiply our experience to better contribute to our common task we are all currently fulfilling in the Standing NATO Group", said the Commander of SNMCMG2, Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz.
During Ariadne 17, SNMCMG2 was represented by the flagship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki, Spanish minehunter ESPS Tajo, Turkish minehunter TCG Alanya and the German minesweeper Rottweil. The Group was complemented with two additional ships, Spanish minehunter ESPS Duero and Romanian minesweeper ROS Axente.