Ships from SNMG2 and SNMCMG2 exercised cross-deck helicopter and small-boat capabilities to demonstrate and preserve their ability to operate together against the threat of mine attack.
The exercises culminated in a mine lead-through exercise building NATO's high-end mine detection and MCM-protection capabilities. SNMG2's flagship U.S. Navy USS Forrest Sherman and Turkish Navy TCG Kemalreis along with SNMCMG2's flagship Turkish Navy TCG Yuzbası Gungor Durmus, minehunter TCG Edincik and Italian Navy ITS Alghero participated in the exercise.
The integration of two out of four of NATO's Standing Naval Forces speaks to the importance of interoperable capabilities and demonstrates Alliance cohesion. Clearing a mine-threat area is a required capability that falls under NATO's strategic goal of ensuring maritime security. The ability to operate jointly with Allied nations from different task groups increases the readiness of NATO's response force.
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta, commander of SNMG2, spoke about the importance of interoperability.
"It sends a clear message for NATO to have two of its Standing Naval Forces take the time to exercise our ability to conduct joint maritime operations," Sciretta said. "Exercises such as these make us capable now and ready for tomorrow."
Turkish Navy Captain Yusuf Karagulle, commander of SNMCMG2, spoke about the importance of exercises between SNMG-2 and SNMCMG-2:
"Given the nature of MCM operations, mostly close to shore and in a multi-threat environment, it was a beneficial exercise for SNMCMG2 to increase our interoperability with SNMG2. Trainings between these groups are force multipliers and provide a collectively trained and interoperable capability that NATO can confidently deploy."
SNMG2 and SNMCMG2 are multinational integrated task groups that project a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance's solidarity and cohesion afloat and provide the Alliance with a continuous maritime capability to perform a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.
It sends a clear message for NATO to have two of its Standing Naval Forces take the time to exercise our ability to conduct joint maritime operations," Sciretta said. "Exercises such as these make us capable now and ready for tomorrow.