Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) concluded a port visit in Alexandria, Egypt, by conducting a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Egyptian Navy, August 24. A PASSEX is a cooperative exercise that demonstrates interoperability, collaboration, coordination, and partnership with partner and allied navies. These exercises often involve communication, advanced maneuvering, and tactics tests. Before conducting the PASSEX, SNMG2 arrived in Alexandria for a scheduled port visit with flagship U.S. Navy destroyer USS Forrest Sherman and Spanish Navy frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (F-102) on August 21.
While in Alexandria, Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, commander, SNMG2, met with Alexandria Naval Base Commander, Egyptian Navy Adm. Walid Aly Attia, as well as the commanding officer of Gowind-class corvette ENS El Fateh (971), Cmdr. Ibrahim Sobeih. The staff of SNMG2 and ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon provided NATO capabilities briefings to students at the Egyptian Naval War College, where they presented various NATO operational concepts, to include task group command and control, rules of engagement, mine countermeasure operations, and maritime interdiction.
“NATO’s partnership with Egypt is invaluable. We enjoy a rich history of partnership and collaboration. As founding members of the Mediterranean Dialogue, we share common objectives of increasing regional security and mutual understanding with focuses in combatting terrorism, enhancing arms control, and building robust cyber defense capabilities. I’m happy that we were able to build on these core principles during our visit,” said Sciretta.
After departing Alexandria on Aug. 24, SNMG2 and the Egyptian Navy commenced the PASSEX. The ships participating in the PASSEX included USS Forest Sherman, ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón, and ENS El Fateh. SNMG2 is a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat and provides 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.