Three ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) visited the port of Civitavecchia on Oct. 20 after three weeks of conducting Exercise Mare Aperto 22-2 (MA 22-2). MA 22-2 is a large, live exercise conducted by the Italian Navy in concert with Allied and EU partners in the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas throughout October. The aim of MA 22-2 is to train and test commands, staffs and crews to strengthen and enhance the planning and conduct of activities at sea in a realistic, multi-dimensional scenario, specifically a NATO Article 5 Operation. The exercise included serialized and free-play events, during which planners granted commanders maximum freedom of decision at sea.
While Standing NATO Maritime Group 2’s participation in the exercise has concluded, the Italian Navy is scheduled to continue MA 22-2 until October 27. Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 conducted live-fire gunnery exercises, air-defence activities, anti-submarine warfare events, and various surface ship-maneuvering events during the exercise. SNMG2 entered port in Civitavecchia with U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), Spanish Navy guided-missile frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon (F 105) and German Navy tanker FGS Spessart (A1442).
“This is one of the more dynamic and robust exercises we’ve done to date and that’s a credit to the Italian Navy. In this exercise we enhanced our cohesiveness and war fighting readiness as Allies, while breaking down barriers to integration. During a very robust, multi-domain warfare exercise where we played the role of an opposing force, we overcame these barriers and improved our shared understanding of command and control and execution of joint tactics, techniques and procedures. I couldn’t be more impressed with the Italian Navy and the leadership of Italian Rear Admiral Vincenzo Montanaro, the Task Force commander who led the exercise,” said SNMG2 Commander U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta.
Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) standing maritime immediate reaction force. SNMG2 consists of four to six destroyers and frigates. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability. In 2019, SNMG2 was tasked with patrol of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.