Maritime, air and land assets, from eight NATO Allies came together for the largest and most complex multinational exercise organized by the Romanian Naval Forces in the Black Sea for 2021.
Sea Shield 21 is an annual Romanian-led multinational naval exercise focused on enhancing interoperability between participating nations, emphasizing anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, and mine countermeasures mission sets. Sea Shield participating nations include Bulgaria, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
SNMG2 participated in this exercise with four surface units, ESPS Mendez Nuñez, as the flagship, BGS Smeli, ROS Regina Maria and TCG Kemalreis, three of them fitted with organic helicopters.
This exercise represents an outstanding opportunity to increase mutual understanding, interoperability, confidence and cohesion among all participants
During the execution phase, NATO maritime warfare concepts and tactics were practiced based on a crisis response scenario.
"This exercise represents an outstanding opportunity to increase mutual understanding, interoperability, confidence and cohesion among all participants and provides a great occasion to show NATO presence and assure the maritime commitment to collective defence, contributing to NATO success and increased security of the international community” said Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre, Commander of SNMG2.
After completing this exercise, SNMG2 will resume its program of activities in the Black Sea, a region of strategic importance to NATO, with three allied nations, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and two regional partners among its littoral countries.
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.