The collaboration demonstrated the interoperable and interchangeable capabilities and strength of NATO's maritime force.
SNMG2 is a maritime task group comprised of ships from various NATO-member nations. It is commanded by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta who assumed command on July 1 and is embarked aboard SNMG2's flagship through June 2023, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Sciretta spoke to the importance and strength of the NATO Alliance. "The NATO Alliance is stronger than ever," he said. "Routine demonstration of NATO integrated all-domain naval power will be the key to deterring our adversaries and preventing war."
He spoke to the task group on his expectations and the necessity to stay vigilant and prepared. "If deterrence fails, we must always be ready to fight tonight," he said. "Winning Matters. Period. There is no room for second place in our business. Prompt and well-informed tactical action will always give us decision advantage."
NATO is essential to Euro-Atlantic security and it guarantees our peace, freedom and prosperity
In the weeks since assuming command, the ships of SNMG2 have included Forrest Sherman, Italian Navy guided-missile frigate ITS Martinengo (F 596), Italian Navy logistic support ship ITS Vulcano (A 5335), Turkish Navy frigate TCG Kemalreis (F-247), German Navy replenishment ship FGS Bonn (A1413), Spanish Navy air-defense frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon (F-102), French Navy frigate FS Provence (D-652) and Hellenic Navy frigate HS Kountouriotis (F-462). The activities include replenishments at sea, warfare development exercises, international aircraft cross-deck landings, small boat operations, and various ship-specific trainings.
As a NATO task group, SNMG2 prioritizes its mandate to enhance the collective readiness, responsiveness, deployable readiness, integration and interoperability of its forces. Its focus is on deterrence and defense against all adversaries in the maritime domain, upholding freedom of navigation, securing maritime trade routes and protecting the main lines of communication.
"NATO is essential to Euro-Atlantic security and it guarantees our peace, freedom and prosperity," Sciretta said. "We, as allies, will continue to stand together and defend our security, values, and democratic way of life."
The HSTCSG is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. 6th Fleet to defend U.S., Allied and partner interests. It is commanded by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Paul Spedero Jr.
"It was a privilege to train alongside the multiple nations currently working under SNMG2," Spedero said. "The integration of the maritime group in these multi-national exercises represents another chance to hone and enhance our skills as mariners and warfighters within the NATO Alliance."
HSTCSG had the opportunity to participate with several of the nations represented within SNMG2 through a myriad of exercises and activities to include Neptune Strike 22, Iniochos 22, and Neptune Shield 22.
Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) is the flagship of the HSTCSG. Strike group elements include the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 28, which have included: USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) in addition to the cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56).