Egemen 2015 Naval Exercise Kicks Off

LHD-3 USS Kearsarge in Rote, Spain. Photo: US Navy

LHD-3 USS Kearsarge in Rote, Spain. Photo: US Navy

Today Turkish led amphibious exercise Egemen 2015 kicked off in Aegean Sea. This is the 3 simultaneous exercise Turkish naval units are taking part. The others are Trident Junction 2015 and Nusret 2015. The exercise will end on 28 October 2015.

Turkish Navy is participating with one frigate, two corvettes, four patrol boats, one submarine, one tank landing ships, 6 landing craft and numerous auxiliary vessels, two helicopters, one maritime patrol aircraft, one search and rescue aircraft and 1 amphibious marine infantry battalion. Turkish Air Force will contribute two F-16 fighter jets.

US Navy amphibious ship LHD-3 USS Kearsarge and on board deployed units from 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are going to take part in Egemen 2015 too.

The exercise will include tactical level training ashore and a combined amphibious landing, flexing all elements of amphibious warfare.

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit team, comprised of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill, the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington and embarked Marines from the 26th MEU. USS Oak Hill and USS Arlington are currently taking part NATO’s Trident Juncture 2015 Exercise off Spanish coast.

For further reading:

Egemen 2009 (Part I)

Egemen 2009 (Part II)

Egemen 2009 (Part III)

Nusret 2015 Mine Warfare Exercise Started


Romanian mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axentel heading to Northern Aegean for Nusret 2015 Exercise.

Each year Turkish Navy organises a mine warfare exercise named after the famous minelayer Nusret.

This year the exercise will be held between 21 and 27 October 2015, in Saros Bay, northern Aegean.

The aim of the exercise is to provide training for the planning and execution of mine warfare and to improve the interoperability in mine warfare, between warships from participant countries.

Turkish Navy will provide 14 warships, 6 planes and helicopters and one EOD team. Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek mine hunters/sweepers will also take part in the exercise.

The Romanian participant is Musca class mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente. The Bulgarian participant is Briz class mine sweeper Shkval. I have no information about the Greek participant yet.


Bulgarian mine sweeper Shkval heading to Northern Aegean for Nusret 2015 Exercise. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

There will be EOD teams from Greece and Romania as well as an unmanned underwater vehicle team from US Navy taking part.


Further reading:

Nusret 2014

Nusret 2013

Nusret 2012

Nusret 2011

Nusret 2010

The Remains Of My Holiday

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A small interception boat of Greek Coast Guard, LS-1004

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A small interception boat with a cabin of Greek Coast Guard, LS-129

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The Antoniou class patrol boat of Greek Navy, P-287 HS Kelefstis Stamou

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The Arun 60 class lifeboat of Greek Coast Guard, SAR-519

LS611 kopya

The Motomarine Patnher 57 7MkII class boat of Greek Coast Guard, LS-611

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The fast patrol boat of Italian Coast Guard, CP-292

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The fast patrol boat of Italian Coast Guard, CP-287

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The Kaan 19 class fast intervention boat of Turkish Coast Guard TCSG-24

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The Kaan 19 class fast intervention boat of Turkish Coast Guard TCSG-28

The Search For The Body Of Captain Nail Erdoğan Is Suspended

A-589 TCG Işın

A-589 TCG Işın. This old photo was taken on Bosphorus.

Turkish Navy stopped its search for the body of Turkish Air Force Captain Nail Erdoğan and the wreck of his plane a F-16D Fighting Falcon Block 40 of the 192nd Squadron with serial number 91-0023.

The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Osman Çiçekli survived by using his ejection seat but Captain Nail Erdoğan died on 8 October 1996 when his F-16 D fighter plane crashed into the Aegean south of Samos island after a dog fight with Greek airplanes.

Turkish Navy was conducting a detailed search activity where the plane was assumed to have crashed. Aydın class mine hunters M-266 TCG Amasra and M-268 TCG Akçakoca, and the salvage ship A-589 TCG Işın were searching for the wreck of the plane since 14 April 2014, while fast attack craft P-341 TCG Martı provided escort.

The mine hunters cruised the search area for 614 hours. During this time they made sonar scans for 420 hours and used their PAP 104 Mk5 ROV’s for 19 hours. TCG Işın cruised for 260 hours and during this cruise she used her ROV for 48 hours. The divers on TCG Işın used the  ADS-1600 atmospheric diving suit for 19 hours.

During the deployment of these ships, 101 underwater contacts were investigated and most of them turned out to me geological objects. The few man-made object brought to surface was examined by Air Force experts and it was determined that these artifacts were not related to the missing plane.

According to a statement made by Turkish General Staff, the search has been finished at least for now until new information about the position of the airplane surfaces.

Deniz Aslanı Search And Rescue Exercise


SG-702 TCSG Güven and SG-703 TCSG Umut in İzmir, before the start of the exercise. Photo: Zeynep Yaylalı


SG-702 TCSG Güven and SG-703 TCSG Umut in İzmir, before the start of the exercise. Photo: Zeynep Yaylalı

Last week between 6 and 9 May 2014, Turkish Armed forces conducted the Deniz Aslanı Search And Rescue exercise.

The first phase of the exercise the rescuers responded to a simulated ship sinking with 92 passengers and 12 crew on board. In the send phase of the exercise survivors of a plane crash were located and rescued by the participating units.

The Gabya class frigate F-496 TCG Gökova from Turkish Navy, the Dost class OPV’s TCSG Umut and TCSG Güven plus 6 patrol boats from Turkish Coast Guard and numerous air units took part in the exercise.

Fishing Wars, Aegean Style (Part 2)

The fishing wars in Northern Aegean goes on. Today a new video was released showing a dog fight (I don’t know if this is a correct term to use on sea) between Turkish and Greek Coast Guard vessels.

Being smaller the Greek boat has a higher degree of maneuverability but the Kaan 33 class, Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-308 was able to prevented the Greek Coast Guard boats coming to close to Turkish fishing boats.


Fishing Wars, Aegean Style

This video was taken on board of a Turkish fishing boat in Northern Aegean. The Kaan 33 class, Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-308 prevented the Greek Coast Guard boats coming to close to Turkish fishing boats. On sea, size does matter.



Turkish Navy Destroys 20 Sea Mines


A mine, laying on the sea floor, seen through the camera of a ROV. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

Turkish Navy announced today that 20 mines from World War 1 and World War 2 has been found in Northern and Central Aegean and destroyed by Turkish mine hunters.

These mines were destroyed in two separate occasions, on 30 November – 1 December 2013 and on 13 – 15 January 2014.

Every year, mines from World War 1 and World War 2, either wash up to shore, get tangled in the nets of the fishermen or found by divers and get destroyed. Mines, whether buried under dirt or lurking in the deeps of the seas are in my humble view are the most loathsome weapons as they can be still deadly after decades.


Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo


Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo


Lest We Forget: DM-357 TCG Muavenet

I have missed the anniversary of the incident of TCG Muavenet being hit. So I am reposting one of my earlier post about this incident:

DM-357 TCG Muavenet was a special ship for me. This picture of hers, which I have taken back in 29 October 1989, was my very first photo to be published in Jane’s Fighting Ships in 1991 edition.

On 2th October 1992, 11 minutes past midnight, during the NATO’s Display Determination ’92 naval exercise, two Sea Sparrow surface to air missiles fired accidentally from the aircraft carrier CV-60 USS Saratoga, hit the bridge of the Turkish destroyer DM-357 TCG Muavenet. 5 sailors including the commander of the ship were killed instantly and 15 badly hurt. A fire broke out on board. At the time of the incident two ships were 3 miles apart and were streaming north in the Aegean.

According the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit the fateful events unfolded as follows:

“On October 1, 1992, the Combat Direction Center Officer aboard the Saratoga decided to launch a simulated attack on nearby opposition forces utilizing the Sea Sparrow missile system. After securing the approval of the Saratoga’s Commanding Officer and the Battle Group Commander, the Combat Direction Center Officer implemented the simulated assault plan. Without providing prior notice, officers on the Saratoga woke the enlisted Sea Sparrow missile team and directed them to conduct the simulated attack.

Certain members of the missile firing team were not told that the exercise was a drill, rather than an actual event. As the drill progressed, the missile system operator used language to indicate he was preparing to fire a live missile, but due to the absence of standard terminology, the responsible officers failed to appreciate the significance of the terms used and the requests made. Specifically, the Target Acquisition System operator issued the command “arm and tune,” terminology the console operators understood to require arming of the missiles in preparation for actual firing.

The officers supervising the drill did not realize that “arm and tune” signified a live firing. As a result, the Saratoga inadvertently fired two live Sea Sparrow missiles at the TCG Muavenet. Both missiles struck the TCG Muavenet, resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries.”

According to a report prepared by Turkish Naval Military Prosecutor’s Office on November 11, 1992 the Saratoga was with the visible horizon and the launch of the missiles were observed on TCG Muavenet.

One of the missiles hit the ship approximately after a flight of ten seconds. The first missile hit the front of the ships bridge and destroyed it. The second missile exploded in the air probably because the blast of the first missile and peppered the ship with shrapnel. Ships radar antenna, forward gun turrets, hedgehog launcher suffered from the shrapnel damage. The pieces of the second missile penetrated the forward gun turret, cabins of the supply officer and XO.

A fire started at the ammunition chamber of the Hedgehog system. The explosion of the Hedgehog rounds would have caused the loss of the ships. After the hits general quarters were sounded and the fire fighting teams started to tackle the fire. On the other hand the damage control teams were throwing the ready ammunition in the forward gun turrets and other explosives near the fire over the board as a safety measure.

When the situation was under control TCG Muavenet was towed to the Gölcük Naval Base. And the exercise continued as planned.

The damage to the old ship was extensive. She was not useable anymore therefore she was decommissioned right away. Later US gave Knox class FFG-1093 USS Capodanno as compensation.

The fire was under control in 10 minutes but the water caused damage in the decks that were not harmed in the initial blast.

These two photos were taken after TGC Muavenet was towed to Gölcük Naval Base.

The extend of the damage resulting both from missile impact and fire is obvious. It was quite a skill to bring the fire under control before reached to the gun turret in B position. If the fire has spread further to the turrets and ammunition chambers of the guns, the she would not have survived.

All the fire fighting and damage control efforts were done in the absence of the commander of the ship. This fact speaks for the professionalism of the officers and the bravery of the whole crew. They simply did not give up the ship.

Commander Kudret Güngör
Ensign Alertunga Akan
Petty Officer 3th Class Serkan Aktepe
Sergant Mustafa Kılınç
Private Recep Akan

Paid the ultimate price for the defence of their country.

For further reading:
US Navy Court of Inquiry

Turkish Navy Court of Inquiry


An interesting but technical legal article about why USA did not paid indemnities to the Turkish sailors

Greek Submarine Ran Aground

Two tugs assits the grounded submarine Proteus. Photo:

Two tugs assits the grounded submarine Proteus. Photo:

According to Greek, one Greek submarine has ran aground in Souda Bay, Crete.

As announced by the Navy General Staff, the Submarine PROTEUS during sailing in the bay of Souda Bay, Crete, and during evasive ship moved near shore and epakoumvise an ancient underwater pier.

No member of the crew was injured, the submarine is not a security problem and there has been no damage.

Perform actions for detachment of the ship and return to Naval Base Souda for scrutiny.

The 209 Type 1100 class submarine S-113 HS Proteus which ran aground was one of the four submarines which recevied and upgrade in Greek service. HS Proteus and her sisters were given a “weapons discharge and fire control update” as early as 1991‐1992, enabling them to fire Sub‐Harpoon anti‐ship missiles.

The modernisation package included Sub Harpoon, flank array sonar, Unisys FCS, Sperry Mk 29 Mod 3 inertial navigation system, GPS and Argos ESM.


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