For the training, the Italian Air Force put in place four fighter jets, two Eurofighters in a friendly role, to contribute to defence of the maritime units from SNMG2, and two Tornado aircraft acting as an attacking force.
The opposing aircrafts performed several attacks on the force, simulating either missile profiles or bombers.
“The assets provided for the air defence exercise were outstanding, challenging my team and providing valuable training as well as a unique opportunity to improve interoperability between Allies,” said Commander of SNMG2, Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre Aldereguía.
Previously to this exercise, SNMG2 carried out training activities with different Allied navies in the Mediterranean, developing a programme of maritime surveillance, participation in maritime exercises and visits to ports of Allied and partner nations.
SNMG2 is one of NATO’s two standing frigate groups that conform the core of the high readiness element of the NATO Response Force. It’s main task unit is currently composed of flagship ESPS Cristobal Colon and replenishment ship ESPS Patino.
Standing NATO Maritime Group Two also has a second task unit, comprised of FGS Brandenburg and Turkish and Greek patrol boats deployed in the Aegean Sea to support the international community effort in containing the illegal traffic of people in the region.
A Tornado (EA200D) from the Italian Air Force exercising with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) on 25 November 2020 in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: NATO / Spanish Navy