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Jan 20 2021

Standing NATO Maritime Group Two trains on the way to Mediterranean

GULF OF CADIZ, Spain – Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) has conducted an exercise series with the Spanish Navy including air defence and live fire drills, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Activities that took place between 13 to 15 January, involved the Spanish Navy’s assets Navarra (F85) and La Grana, that provided the target for the anti-surface firing drills, as well as the Spanish 11th Squadron with mobile targets and the unmanned aerial vehicle ScanEagle.

After conducting a three-day exercise, consisting of different scenarios of tactical engagements and other drills, SNMG2 continues with its Force Integration Training (FIT) and its scheduled program activities.

“During this second half of my Command main focus will be to keep the readiness of the Force at its maximum, participating in NATO and international exercises and to contribute showing NATO presence and cohesion between Allies and partners through both exercises at sea and diplomacy visits”, said SNMG2 Commander, Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre of the Spanish Navy.

SNMG2 flagship ESPS Cristobal Colon departed Rota Naval Base on 13 January, resuming an intense set of activities. This came after the group’s short winter dispersal which allowed for maintenance and personnel rotation.

All personnel, including ship’s crew, flight crew, Marine Force Protection team and SNMG2 staff members follow strict COVID-19 prevention protocols, including quarantine, antigen and PCR tests before embarking.

SNMG2 will resume its program of activities in the Mediterranean, including participation in major multi-national maritime exercises, maritime security operations and support to Operation Sea Guardian as well as continued cooperation with Allied and partner navies.

The Group currently consists of ESPS Cristobal Colon, TCG Gaziantep and FGS Werra.

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 on board and the ships of the Group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.

Story by SNMG2 Public Affairs Officer

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