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NATO participates in ITA Minex 2019 exercise

MEDITERRANEAN SEA - Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2) is participating in the Italian MINEX 2019 mine countermeasure exercise May 20-30, 2019.

The exercise, organized by the Italian Navy, will see NATO minehunters involved in specialist training activity for almost two weeks with Italian and Spanish minehunters, operating in stretches of sea in front of eastern and southern Sicily. The exercise is aimed at practicing command staff knowledge on mine warfare procedures in order to enhance operational capability and interoperability.

The Italian Mine Exercise  offers and opportunity to enhance training of participant commands, staff and assets by conducting mine countermeasures operation in a realistic asymmetric threat scenario. The minehunters are equipped with high-tech systems used to support free access to ports by keeping the sea lanes open and clear for safe navigation.

SNMCMG2 will exercise with Italian and Spanish mines countermeasures ships as well as the Mine Countermeasure Command of the Italian Navy (MARICODRAG) embarked on the Italian Navy frigate ITS Grecale.

"ITA-MINEX provides another option of training under realistic condition alongside our allies,” said the Commander of SNMCMG2, Commander Martin Schwarz. "Exercises like this give us the opportunity to deepen our local knowledge and to enhance interoperability and mutual understanding - two of the backbones of the alliance.”

SNMCMG2 currently consists of flagship German Navy support vessel Werra, Spanish minehunter ESPS Tajo, Turkish minehunter TCG Ayvalik and French minehunter FS Orion.

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