After the handover of the command to Greece, Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) took part in their first exercise “Ariadne” between 19-26 June 2020, off the coast of Greece.
SNMCMG2 ships left Patras port on 22 June in order to participate in the tactical phase of the Greek exercise Ariadne ‘20 taking place in the Patraikos Gulf, between 22-26 June. For the exercise, all pre-sail meetings were held in minimised participation, taking all appropriate COVID-19 measures.
Exercise was designed, hosted and executed by the Hellenic Navy, with frigate Adrias in the lead of the task group, and Hellenic gun boat, Hellenic minehunters and ROS Alexandru Catuneanu as participating units.
Ships had the opportunity to exercise mine countermeasures operations along with other serials, most important being a photographic exercise, medical evacuation and air asymmetric warfare exercises.
“Warm thanks to the Hellenic Navy for the opportunity and support provided, along with the chance to demonstrate NATO cohesion, solidarity and how strong we remain when together, retaining an unhampered NATO continuity in the era of Covid-19”, Commander of SNMCMG2, Commander Dimitrios Katsouras commented.
Commander Dimitrios Katsouras of the Hellenic Navy assumed the command of the group on 15 June, taking over from Commander Valentin-Catalin Vlad of the Romanian Navy at Salamis Naval Base.
On 17 June, HS Aliakmon, the flagship of SNMCMG2, sailed from Salamis in the company of ESPS Tambre, underway to meet the rest of SNMCMG2 units for the Force’s re-grouping. On 18 June, TCG Amasra and ITS Gaeta joined the two aforementioned units.