NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) has wrapped up their final Black Sea deployment of 2020, spending 21 days in the region, NATO Maritime Command announced.
The Group, consisting of the Hellenic Navy flagship HS Aliakmon, FS Orion, BGS Tsibar, ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu, ESPS Duero, TCG Edremit and ITS Alghero entered the Black Sea on 29 October.
This was the third NATO Black Sea deployment this year and included a participation in the bilateral Bulgarian-Romanian exercise Poseidon ‘20, a cooperation with the Ukrainian Navy near Odesa, as well as Maritime Situational Awareness operations off the coast of Ukraine.
Poseidon ’20, a focused Mine Counter Measures Operations exercise, improved readiness and interoperability within Allied navies in the region, as well as resulted in six historical ordnances mapped in the Black Sea. Exercises with the Ukrainian Navy, covering various operational fields, helped the Ukrainian units advance their operational level in a multilateral environment.
“This third Black Sea deployment for the current year reinforced NATO’s recurring and substantial presence in the region. COVID-19 pandemic has not held us back, as we proceed with our partners’ capacity building and the enhancement of mutual interoperability. Once again, the historical ordnance which were identified, underline NATO’s contribution to a safer maritime environment”, said Captain Dimitrios Katsouras, Commander of SNMCMG2.
With three Allied nations, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, and two regional partners, Ukraine and Georgia bordering the Black Sea, Standing Naval Group’s 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.