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. 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. 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.
“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
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.
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) standing mine countermeasures Immediate Reaction Force. From its activation on 27 May 1999, the unit was initially called Standing Mine Countermeasures Force (in the) Mediterranean (MCMFORMED). Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability. SNMCMG2 is a component of the NATO Response Force (NRF). Operationally, SNMCMG2 reports to the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), which is one of the three component commands of Allied Command Operations. As of 23 September 2021, the fleet consists of:Spain (Flagship) Meteoro-class offshore patrol vessel Rayo, Turkey A-class minehunter TCG Alanya and Italy Lerici-class minehunter, Viareggio.