Measures taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19 meant the port interactions had to be significantly scaled down. However, engagements at sea were not hampered.
The flagship of the force, HS Aliakmon, had the opportunity to train together with Maltese maritime squadron during a passing exercise on December 1, where seamanship and maritime security drills were conducted. Exercises such as these provide a unique opportunity for NATO and partners to exercise potential real-life scenarios, building on interoperability between both forces.
Training with our partners was an opportunity to develop our interoperability and build our common capabilities
"I am very pleased to have visited Malta during SNMCMG2's second semester of deployments. Training with our partners, the Armed Forces of Malta, was an opportunity to develop our interoperability and build our common capabilities," said Captain Dimitrios Katsouras, Commander of SNMCMG2.
Malta, part of NATO's Partnership for Peace programme, regularly works with Allies and other partner countries on issues such as maritime situational awareness and border security in the Mediterranean region.
SNMG2 is one of four standing forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). To respond to contingency situations additional forces can be added to these groups, with the NATO command staff onboard and the ships of the group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.
Maltese Navy and SNMCMG2 interaction in the Mediterranean Sea on 1 December 2020. Photo: Hellenic Navy / NATO