Led by Hellenic Navy Captain Fotios Paraskevas, the Task Group includes HS Heracles (Flagship) and two specialist MCM vessels - ITS Viareggio (Italy) and FS Lyre (France). They participated in the PASSEX with three Spanish MCM vessels - ESPS Duero, ESPS Tajo and ESPS Segura.
The PASSEX was the first opportunity of the year for SNMCMG2 to encounter a realistic mine countermeasures environment. The exercise scenario allowed units to develop their mine warfare skills, enhance task group integration, and improve the mutual understanding of NATO maritime doctrines and procedures.
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Spanish Navy, with a focus on mine countermeasures (MCM) and seamanship, in the vicinity of Cartagena, Spain.
Maneuvering, seamanship, damage control and diving accident exercises were valuable aspects of the PASSEX. During these serials, the crews demonstrated their professionalism, outstanding performance and dedication to their navies, nations and NATO.
During five days at sea together, SNMCMG2 and the Spanish Mine Countermeasures Force built on interoperability, rapid integration of forces between Allies, and preparedness to maintain a safe and secure maritime environment.
SNMCMG2 is one of four standing naval 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 this group, with the NATO command staff on board the Flagship, to be capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.