Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 Completes Black Sea Patrol
AT SEA - Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2), in support of NATO´s assurance measures regarding Alliance resolve and commitment to collective defence, as well as enhancing maritime security in the region, just completed its second deployment to the Black Sea this year.
The group, under command of Commander Frank Maginsky of the German Navy, started its deployment on July 12. It included the German replenishment ship FGS Rhein as flagship and the Turkish and Romanian mine countermeasures vessels TCG Anamur and ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu.
While operating in the Black Sea, the group cooperated with Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, led by Commodore Boudewijn Boots of the Royal Netherlands Navy onboard flagship HNLMS De Ruyter. Both NATO groups participated in the Bulgarian exercise "BREEZE 18" in vicinity of Burgas, Bulgaria. The scenario of "BREEZE," was based on a Crisis Response Operation and provided training to the participants in various fields of maritime warfare and enhanced interoperability.
The next port for both groups was Odessa in Ukraine. In addition to a well-attended open ship program, the focus of the visit was on cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. The Alliance maritime activities make an important contribution to NATO's partnership with Ukraine. This spirit culminated in a passing exercise which included both NATO groups and nine units of the Ukrainian Navy. The drills were conducted in a highly professional manner and increased the mutual understanding of procedures in the respective Navies.
The last port of call for SNMCMG 2 during this Black Sea patrol was the home port of ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu in Constanţa, Romania. There, the ships were visited by many interested citizens and reporters from Constanta. Commander Maginsky as well as the Commanding Officers of his units and sailors were asked to tell their story and there was one answer: " We are 'Hand in hand- together strong!'"
Before departing the Black Sea, mine countermeasures vessels TCG Anamur and ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu sailed back to their home ports and flagship FGS Rhein continued on to the Mediterranean. The dedication of these units was impressive and the training efforts showed their resolve, high level of readiness and capabilities NATO maintains at sea.