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Sep 24 2021

NATO ships return to Black Sea

Black Sea - Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) units have entered the Black Sea for the third time this year to conduct further routine operations, and conduct a port visit to Batumi, Georgia.

SNMCMG2, consists of Spanish flagship ESPS Rayo, Italian ship ITS Viareggio, and Turkish ship TCG Edincik. Romanian ship ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu and Bulgarian ship BGS Shkval will join the group after they enter the Black Sea.

The third SNMCMG2 Black Sea deployment constitutes an important opportunity for interoperability and readiness enhancement with our Allies and partners. The deployment will include the port visits to Batumi, Georgia, after which there will be an exercise with the Georgian Coast Guard. The deployment will include a port visit to Samsun, Turkey.

Maritime patrols enhance interoperability between Allies and Partners. This activity demonstrates NATO's commitment to Black Sea security and the capacity to uphold freedom of navigation within international waters
With three Allied nations, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, and two regional partners, Ukraine and Georgia bordering the Black Sea, Standing Naval Groups presence in the region is a regular occurrence. While in the Black Sea, the group will also conduct maritime security patrols in international waters to enhance NATO maritime situational awareness between Allies and regional partners.

"NATO operates across the breadth and depth of SACEUR's Area of Responsibility—day-in and day-out. These activities are consistent with our shared values and keep with international law—our activities in the Black Sea are no different. The three Allied and two partner Nations participating in this joint exercise strengthen NATO's awareness and demonstrates our ability to secure the sovereign terrain of our great Alliance," said U.S. Air Force Major General Phillip A. Stewart, Deputy Chief of Staff Strategic Employment, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. "Maritime patrols enhance interoperability between Allies and Partners. This activity demonstrates NATO's commitment to Black Sea security and the capacity to uphold freedom of navigation within international waters."

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Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM

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