Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) visited Malta and conducted training with the Maltese Forces between November 27 and December 1, NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) announced.
Measures taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19 meant the port interactions had to be significantly scaled down. However, engagements at sea were not hampered.
The flagship of the force, HS Aliakmon, had the opportunity to train together with Maltese maritime squadron during a passing exercise on December 1, where seamanship and maritime security drills were conducted. Exercises such as these provide a unique opportunity for NATO and partners to exercise potential real-life scenarios, building on interoperability between both forces.
Malta, part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, regularly works with Allies and other partner countries on issues such as maritime situational awareness and border security in the Mediterranean region.
SNMG2 is one of four standing 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 these groups, with the NATO command staff onboard and the ships of the group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.