After leaving Aksaz on 18 June, the Italian flagship frigate Fasan and the Turkish frigate Salihreis were joined by two units of the Turkish Navy to perform a manoeuvring and communication exercise south of the Turkish port. The training was conducted with the Turkish frigate Orucreis and the fast patrol boat Gurbet. The next day, 19 June, another manoeuvring and communication exercise took place in the Aegean Sea near Crete, with the Hellenic Navy frigate Kountouriotis.
We are continuously working to demonstrate our Allies and adversaries, that despite the recent pandemic, NATO forces at sea have maintained and continuously improved their capabilities
Standing NATO Maritime Group Two sailing with the Turkish Navy frigate Orucreis and the fast patrol boat Gurbet near Aksaz, on 18 June 2020.
"The exercises that we are conducting since the beginning of our deployment with the Allied navies of Greece and Turkey, have allowed us to maintain our readiness at sea, as well as our interoperability between multinational forces. We are continuously working to demonstrate our Allies and adversaries, that despite the recent pandemic, NATO forces at sea have maintained and continuously improved their capabilities. These two days allowed me also to address a special farewell to both navies that have provided me with largest number of training events," commented Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni, Italian Navy, Commander of SNMG2.
Hellenic Navy frigate Kountouriotis sailing past the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two near Crete in the Aegean Sea on 19 June 2020. Photo: ITA Navy
SNMG2, under Italian command since December 2019, is now comprised of two frigates: the Italian flagship FREMM-class frigate Fasan and the Turkish Barbaros-class frigate Salihreis. The command of the Group is set to change next week.