NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2 ) enters Black Sea

Turkey has taken command of our Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group
Turkey has taken command of our Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) are entered the Black Sea on February 25, for the first time in 2021. Bulgarian and Romanian mine hunters are joining the Group upon its entrance in the Black Sea.

SNMCMG2, composed of Turkish flagship Sokullu Mehmet Pasa, BGS Priboy (Bulgaria), ROS Lupu Dinescu (Romania), ESPS Tajo (Spain) and TCG Ayvalık (Turkey), will participate in the Romanian-Bulgarian mine warfare exercise Poseidon and conduct a passing exercise with the Ukrainian Navy. Besides the training, the NATO Group will also conduct port visits to Constanta, Romania and Odessa, Ukraine.

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TCG Sokullu Mehmet Pasa, flagship of the SNMCM2 (Image: MARCOM)

“By taking advantage of our activities in the Black Sea such as the multinational exercises, port visits, passing exercises and maritime security patrols, SNMCMG2 Black Sea deployment is an important opportunity contributing to achieving mutual understanding, interoperability and confidence with our Allies and partners,” said the Commander of SNMCMG2, Turkish Navy Captain Yusuf Karagülle.

With three Allied nations, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, and two regional partners, Ukraine and Georgia bordering the Black Sea, Standing Naval Group 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.

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SNMCMG-2 ships are in Istanbul during the handover ceremony, Feb.22 (Image: MARCOM)

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2)

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) standing mine countermeasures Immediate Reaction Force. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability.

From its activation on 27 May 1999, the unit was initially called Standing Mine Countermeasures Force (in the) Mediterranean (MCMFORMED).

MCMFORMED and her sister force Mine Counter Measures Force North Western Europe (MCMFORNORTH) were tasked in June 1999 to operate in the Adriatic Sea to clear ordnance jettisoned during Operation Allied Force. The combined force comprised 11 minehunters and minesweepers and a support ship. The operation, named Allied Harvest, began on 9 June 1999. Search activities began three days later and lasted 73 days. In total, 93 pieces of ordnance were located and cleared in the nine areas which encompassed 1,041 square nautical miles (3,570 km2; 1,379 sq mi).

From 3 September 2001 it was known as the Mine Countermeasures Force South (MCMFORSOUTH) and from 1 January 2005 it became Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2.

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the SNMCMG-2 ships.