SNMG-2 Trains With The Turkish Navy In The Black Sea

NATO MARCOM published an press release today about the exercise between Turkish Naval Forces and SNMG-2. And the published the photo below:

SNMCG2 exercising with Turkish Navy

SNMG-2 ships with two Turkish frigates. Photo: NATO/MARCOM.

 

From left to right you can see an Improved Tetal class Romanian corvette, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton, 3 Turkish MEKO 200 Track 1 frigates (marked with red arrows) and the German tanker FGS Spessart.  The nearest Turkish frigate is F-240 TCG Yavuz. The others are F-241 TCG Turgutreis and F-242 TCG Fatih.
The text of the press release is below:

BLACK SEA – NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) recently completed exercises in the Black Sea with ships from the Turkish Navy.  SNMG2 is in the Black Sea to assure allies in the region of the Alliance’s commitment to collective defence and to enhance NATO’s maritime force interoperability.

Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), ITS Aliseo (F 574) and ROS Regina Maria (F 222).

SNMG2 units were joined by Commander, Turkish Destroyer Division Three, Capt. Murat Sirzai, embarked aboard TCG Yavuz (F 240) and Turkish units TCG Fatih (F 242) and a Turkish submarine. During the multinational exercise, the ships tested anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare tactics and procedures, as well as basic ship-handling maneuvers and communications drills.

“Opportunities to train with different units from our Allied nations only further enhance our ability as a ready maritime force,” said SNMG2 Staff Planning Officer, Lt. Taner Erdem (TUR).

While in the Black Sea SNMG2 will also participate in exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies before returning to the Mediterranean to resume patrols; contributing to maritime situational awareness in the region.

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Turkish frigate TCG Fatih passing through Istanbul Strait. Photo: Shonquis Moreno. Used with permission.

Though a certain date was not mentioned in the press release, the information in the text is at least 3 days old. The Turkish frigate TCG Fatih made her southbound passage through Istanbul Strait on 6 March 2015.

TCG Turgutreis Celebrated Her 1000th Sailing From Port

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TCG Turgutreis sailing through Dardanelles.

Turkish contribution to NATO Maritime Group Two, F-241 TCG Turgutreis celebrated her 1000th departure from port on 16 February 2015.

According to NATO MARCOM press release this happened when the task force left Trieste, Italy.

The Commander of SNMG-2, Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N) took the opportunity to join TURGUTREIS on this special occasion and addressed the crew over the ship’s PA system, “I know how much hard work and dedication goes into every sailing from port,” Williamson said to the crew. “I hope as you took in the lines this morning you also paused for a moment to reflect on this special day.”

Sailors aboard TURGUTREIS marked the occasion by taking a photo of the entire ship’s crew on the flight deck and hosting a banner declaring the 1,000th sailing, which the ship will display until the next port. TURGUTREIS is also flying signal flags on the mast which spell out “Sail, 1,000.”

“We are very happy to celebrate our 1,000th sail and are glad to have the honor of Rear Admiral Brad Williamson aboard for the event, and celebrate our ship and the commitment of our crew to serve with dedication and honor,” said TURGUTREIS Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Hüseyin Temizel.

“It was very special to be aboard TURGUTREIS today,” said Williamson. “It is an honour I will carry with me always.”

SNMG-2 Is Back In Istanbul

Almost one year later, the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 is in Istanbul again.

According to NATO Maritime Command web site the SNMG 2 is made up from the following ships: F-105 SPS Cristobal Colon as flagship, F-247 TCG Kemalreis, FFG-50 USS Taylor, 334 HMCS Regina and A-630 FS Marne. The task force, without the US and French warships arrived in Istanbul on 19 June 2014 afternoon.

The big question is where it will sail when their port visit is over? To the Black Sea or to the Mediterranean?

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis. Turkish contribution to SNMG-2. Last year her sister F-246 TCG Salihreis was with the task force.

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F-105 Cristobal Colon. Most if not all Álvaro de Bazán class ships served as the flagships of SNMG for in turn during the Spanish command of the task force.

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Long time no see: A Canadian warship in Istanbul. FFH-334 HMCS Regina.

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F-105 Cristobal Colon. The flagships of SNMG.

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US made Bushmaster as CIWS instead of indigenous Meroka!? What was the reason for this decision? space or weight limitations or performance issues?

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F-105 Cristobal Colon. The flagships of SNMG.

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FFH-334 HMCS Regina. The side of the funnel is an unusual place to install Sea Sparrow SAM missiles.

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FFH-334 HMCS Regina.

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FFH-334 HMCS Regina.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 In Casablanca

Turkish frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis entering Port of Casablanca as port of SNMG-2

Turkish frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis entering Port of Casablanca as port of SNMG-2. Photo: NATO/HQ MARCOM

On 19 October 2013, three NATO ships F-101 ESPS Alvaro De Bazan, F-219 FGS Sachsen and F-246 TCG Salihreis assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) arrived in Casablanca for a scheduled port visit.

During the visit, the NATO forces will exercise together with the Moroccan Navy, conducting personnel exchange visits in port. The port visit will also mark a welcome break for the crew of SNMG2, which has been operating at a very high tempo during the past few weeks.

In addition to supporting the counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR (OAE), the Group has just completed participation in the major maritime exercise BRILLIANT MARINER, a multinational force of 21 ships and submarines that worked together to ‘stress test’ the crisis reaction capabilities of the NATO Response Force (NRF). Upon departing Casablanca, SNMG2 will return to the Mediterranean to resume support to OAE, actively deterring threats to maritime security and trade.

TCG Oruçreis In Toulon

F-245 TCG Oruçreis

F-245 TCG Oruçreis

NATO’s Maritime Capability Group 1 on Above Water Engagement conducted naval electronic warfare trials in Toulon, France between 30 September and 4 October 2013.

4 vessels and measuring/simulator systems from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Turkey took part. The MEKO 200 Track IIA class frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis was the Turkish participant to these trials. 

 

The Participants Of Brilliant Mariner 2013

One of the NATO’s largest exercise Brilliant Mariner 2013 is continuing in the Mediterranean.

The exercise, which will end on 6 October 2013, will take place in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Sicily and Sardinia.

Over five thousand military and naval personnel from 12 NATO nations comprising Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany , Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate in this major annual exercise.

25 warships, including one aircraft carrier, 12 frigates, one amphibious warfare ship, one auxiliary ship and 7 mines countermeasures vessels will be involved, alongside a wide variety of aircraft, submarines and embarked marines. Two submarines and a Maritime Patrol Aircraft will also take part.

I was able to compile the most of the participating ships with the help of Russian radio scanners:

Number Name Type Country
C-550 ITS Cavour Aircraft Carrier Italy
D-554 ITS Caio Duilio Destroyer Italy
D-561 ITS Francesco Mimbelli Destroyer Italy
F-571 ITS Grecale Frigate Italy
F-574 ITS Aliseo Frigate Italy
F-576 ITS Espero Frigate Italy
F-557 ITS Fenice Corvette Italy
P-490 ITS Comandante Cigala Fulgosi OPV Italy
P-493 ITS Comandante Foscari OPV Italy
L-9893 ITS San Marco LPD Italy
A-5327 ITS Stromboli Tanker Italy
F-103 ESPS Blas De Lezo Frigate Spain
F-246 TCG Salihreis Frigate Turkey
F-219 FGS Sachsen Frigate Germany
F-218 FGS Meclenburg- Vorpommern Frigate Germany
S-522 ITS Salvatore Pelosi Submarine Italy
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
A-512 FGS Mosel Tender Germany
M-1061 FGS Rottweil Mine hunter Germany
M-264 TCG Erdemli Mine hunter Turkey
5558 ITS Crotone Mine hunter Italy
5552 ITS Milazzo Mine hunter Italy

Any additions and corrections are most welcome.

Brilliant Mariner 2013

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The map of the exercise area of the Brilliant Mariner 2013. Photo: Mamadu from radioscanner.ru

Between 26 September and 6 October 2013, a large fleet of warships from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) and from other task forces will take part in Brilliant Mariner 2013 maritime exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Turkish Navy F-246 the frigate TCG Salihreis, the mine hunter M-264 TCG Erdemli and the submarine S-358 TCG Çanakkale are going to take part in this exercise.

TCG Salihreis is the Turkish contribution to the NATO’s SNMG-2 task force and TCG Erdemli is part of the NATO’s SNMCMG-2. This means that the Gür class submarine TCG Çanakkale, is the only Turkish national participant to the exercise.

 

 

NATO SNMCMG-2 In The Black Sea

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The German tender A-512 FGS Mosel. The flagship of NATO SNMCMG-2.

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M-264 TCG Erdemli. The Turkish contribution to SNMCMG-2.

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M-1061 FGS Rottweil. The German contribution to SNMCMG-2.

Two German and one Turkish warship created a were in Istanbul for the weekend.

The three ships of the NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2, A-512 FGS Mosel, M-264 TCG Erdemli, and M-1061 FGS Rottweil, arrived in Istanbul on 23 August 2013 Friday and left on 26 August 2013.

According to the official web page of SNMCMG-2 there should be a fourth ship: HMS Ledbury, but she was not is Istanbul. NATO is notoriously bad at updating these pages.

The task force is currently in the Black Sea. I would appreciate any information about their destination.

SNMG-2 Press Conference On Board SPS Blas De Lezo

From left to right: Commander Levent Bingöl , Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz Del Rio, Commander Fernando Alvarez Blanco

On 24 July 2013 late afternoon NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) arrived in Istanbul.

The group was in the Black Sea since 5 July and visited Bulgaria, and Ukraine and conducted training with Bulgarian and Romanian naval units.

Currently, SNMG-2 consists of the Spanish frigate F-103 SPS Blas De Lezo and Turkish frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis

I was invited to the press conference on board of SPS Blas De Lezo on 25 July 2013. It was my third visit of a Spanish warship but my first press conference so it was quite an interesting event.

Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz Del Rio is the current commander of the Maritime Group 2, for a period of a year starting June 15th 2013.
He, with the commander of the SPS Blas De Lezo Commander Fernando Alvarez Blanco and the commander of TCG Salihreis Commander Levent Bingöl answered the question of the press.

Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio explained that there will two different stages during his command. In the first stage SNMG-2 will remain mainly in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea and will support NATO’s Operation Active Endevour and take part in naval exercises Doğu Akdeniz organized by Turkish Navy, Briliant Mariner/Mare Aperto by Italy or Naias by Greece.

In the second stage in 2014 will relived SNMG-1 in the Gulf of Aden and will take the responsibly of the NATO’s anti-piracy operation Ocean Shield for the first 6 months.

He also told that the current composition of SNMG is going to change in late August as more warships will join the group.

Upon my question how he would elaborate this the Black Sea cruise of the SNMG-2 he told that being in the Black sea was interesting as a member of the Spanish Navy he did not had many opportunities to be there. The training of SNMG-2 with the Bulgarian and Romanian naval units was in his opinion very good and helped these NATO navies in gaining the experiences other older NATO navies already have.

Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio compared this force to the fire fighters and said “We must always be ready for any kind of situation emerging in our area. We do not have luxury of saying we need 24 hours to be ready”

He also praised the support of Turkish Navy. SNMG-2 was refueled by Turkish oiler 3 times when it was in the Black Sea. Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio informed that during his tour as Staff Operations Officer at NATO’S Standing Naval Force in the Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) in 2000 he was stationed on board of a Turkish ship and had a very good working relations with Turkish Navy.

The admiral answered my question whether a plan at NATO level or at national level for Spain existed to position AEGIS platforms such as the frigate Blas De Lezo on the Black Sea, to support NATO initiative to provide a BMD for Europe by saying that NATO was to provide command and control for the BMD system components and every participating nation was going to provide their equipment accordingly.

Upon a question how it feels to have an admiral and his staff on board the commander of the SPS Blas De Lezo Commander Fernando Alvarez Blanco said that Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio, was his boss in their previous tenure and they have been working together for a long time.

Commander Blanco also told that Turkish delegations have visited the frigate and they have been extensively briefed about the working of the AEGIS system. He also told us that the AEGIS system was working well in coastal/littoral Sea such as the Mediterranean or the Black Sea especially if you have a previous knowledge of the area and the expected threads.

SNMG-2 In Bosphorus

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Turkish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-246 TCG Salihreis on her way to Bulgaria. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Turkish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-246 TCG Salihreis on her way to Bulgaria. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Spanish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-103 Blas De Lezo on her way to Bulgaria. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Spanish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-103 Blas De Lezo on her way to Bulgaria. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Spanish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-103 Blas De Lezo on her way to Bulgaria. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Spanish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-103 Blas De Lezo on her way to Bulgaria. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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