Two of the four Standing NATO Maritime Groups are conducting a Passing Exercise with the Romanian Navy this week in the Black Sea to increase interoperability and enhance NATO’s ability to protect national sovereignty through collective defence.
Exercises such as this, are part of the specific measures for a strengthened NATO maritime presence in the region. NATO is increasing the regularity of its patrols in the Black Sea region as part of a larger reinforcement for the collective defence of Allies referred to as tailored Forward Presence (tFP).
Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) currently consists of 6 ships from the United Kingdom, Romania and Turkey.
SNMG2 currently consists of flagship Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan, Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand and Turkish frigate TCG Gaziantep. SNMCMG2 currently consists of flagship Royal Navy survey ship HMS Enterprise, Romanian minesweeper ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu and Turkish minehunter TCG Akcay.
Following their previous port visit in Romania, they are now exercising in order to increase interoperability and practice skills including Air Defence, advanced navigation, communications and mine neutralisation.
“It is essential that NATO and its allied nations work collectively, to ensure a strong maritime presence in the international waters of the Black Sea,” said SNMG2 Commander, Royal Navy Commodore Mike Utley, “Exercising and operating in the region ensures freedom of navigation and reinforces collective defence.”
The Black Sea region is of great strategic importance to all bordering nations. This international water space is bordered by three Allied nations and two NATO Partner nations. NATO conducts exercises and operations in the Black Sea in order to maintain a credible and capable defensive capability in accordance with treaty obligations.
NATO Allied Maritime Command, Northwood, UK