SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

The resolution of the photo is not excellent but it is good enough to recognize the shapes of the warships of SNMCMG-2 making a port visit in Istanbul.

The NATO taskforce arrived,  on 23 July 2014 in Istanbul, after making port visits in Varna Bulgaria and Constanta Romania. While in Bulgaria, the task force took part in the Bulgarian led naval exercise Breeze 2014.

Update On Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

With the exception of Bulgarian participants I have more or less the complete list of the participants to this exercise:

Number Name Type Country
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
M-5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
F-222 ROS Regina Maria Frigate Romania
M-30 Alexandru Axente Mine Sweeper Romania
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
CG-72 USS Vella Gulf Cruiser USA

In addition to the above mentioned naval units one P-3 Orion from US Navy and one CN-235 from Turkish Navy are also taking part in the exercise.

Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

The Bulgarian Navy is hosting a nine day long naval exercise Breeze 2014.

The military exercise is to be held in the Western section of the Black Sea and is aimed at improving the tactical compatibility and collaboration among naval forces of the alliance’s member states.

Bulgaria’s port city of Burgas has peen picked to host the staff of the drills.

While Breeze 2014 is taking place, the staff of the Bulgarian Naval Forces will be certified for conformity of the level of planning independent operations to NATO criteria, according to the website pan.bg, specialized in defense issues.

The exercise, which ends July 13, starts amid stepped-up presence of alliance forces in the Black Sea over the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s decision to incorporate the Crimean peninsula in March this year. 

According to the information I have the following ships are taking part in the exercise:

 Number Name Type Country
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey

As always I will appreciate any additional information about the participants.

Here is a nice video showing the arrival of the NATO SNMCMG-2 ships to Burgas.

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?

F247 kopya

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

F105 kopya

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.

334 kopya

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

DSC_1751 kopya

F-105 Cristobal Colon. The flagships of SNMG.

DSC_1821 kopya

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

F105_1 kopya

F-105 Cristobal Colon. The flagships of SNMG.

CDY_7003 kopya

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.

TCG Gökçeada Joined SNMG-2

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TCG Gökçeada departing. Photo: official Turkish Navy photo.

According to the official website of Turkish Navy, the Gabya (Perry) class frigate F-494 TCG Gökçeada departed from her home port Aksaz, Marmaris on 10 March 2014 to replace the frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu of the same class in SNMG-2.

TCG Gelibolu was as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under Spanish command in Gulf Of Aden and was taking part in Operation Ocean Shield, which is NATO’s counter piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa.

From 14 March till 24 June 2014, TCG Gökçeada will protect the civilian ships against the pirates.

TCG Gelibolu Replaces TCG Salihreis In SNMG-2

F-493 TCG-Gelibolu

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu is replacing F-246 TCG Salihreis in SNMG-2, before the NATO’s task force sails to Gulf Of Aden to combat piracy.

There will be a farewell ceremony for TCG Gelibolu on 30 November in Aksaz Naval Base.

While Turkish Navy deploys Yavuz (MEKO 200 Track I) and Barbaros (MEKO 200 Track II A/B) class frigates to NATO missions, it is always a Gabya (Perry) class frigate that is sent to missions in Gulf Of Aden. The Gabya class ships are considered more comfortable in Indian ocean and are more economical with their fuel consumption.

It would be interesting to hear what RAN is thinking as it is the only other navy besides Turkish that operates both MEKO and Perry class frigates.

Nusret 2013 Mine Warfare Exercise Starts Today

The Nusret 2013 mine warfare exercise organised by Turkish Navy starts today in Çanakkale.

The exercise will end on 1 December 2013 and will be conducted in Saros Bay, east of Gallipoli peninsula.

According to Turkish Navy foreign participants are NATO mine warfare task force SNMCMG-2 and 1 mine hunter from Greece. From Turkish Navy one frigate, 4 mine hunters, 3 mine sweepers, 1 mine layer, 2 patrol boats, 1 mine retriever, 1 helicopter and one EOD team will participate. 3 patrol boats from the Turkish Coast Guards and planes from Turkish Air Force will also take part in the exercise.

Bulgarian Frigate Drazki Returned Home

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Bulgarian frigate 41 BGS Drazki passing through Bosphorus on 5 November 2013. Photo: Ahmet Soufa Kayalı. Used with permission.

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Bulgarian frigate 41 BGS Drazki passing through Bosphorus on 5 November 2013. Photo: Ahmet Soufa Kayalı. Used with permission.

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Bulgarian frigate 41 BGS Drazki passing through Bosphorus on 5 November 2013. Photo: Ahmet Soufa Kayalı. Used with permission.

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Bulgarian frigate 41 BGS Drazki passing through Bosphorus on 5 November 2013. Photo: Ahmet Soufa Kayalı. Used with permission.

The Bulgarian Wielingen class frigate 41 BGS Drazki passed through Bosphorus on 5 November 2013 and returned to her home port Burgas, Bulgaria.

She took part in NATO operations in the Mediterranean. According to NATO she was part of the SNMG-2 task force for a period of time:
Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine-Countermeasures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) met yesterday for a joint training opportunity at sea near Crete, Greece.

Both Groups have been operating in the Mediterranean in support of the counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR (OAE), demonstrating NATO’s resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism.

COMSNMG2 Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz del Rio welcomed aboard his flagship COMSNMCMG2 Commander Matthias Seipel for a brief meeting, discussing ongoing NATO operations and observing the combined twelve ships from eight different countries operating together.

SNMG2 presently consisting of the frigates ESPS ALVARO DE BAZAN (Spain), FGS SACHSEN (Germany), TCG SALIHREIS (Turkey), ITS GRECALE (Italy), ROS REGINA MARIA (Romania), BGS DRAZKI (Bulgaria) and URS TERNOPIL (Ukraine).

SNMCMG2 consisting of the mine hunters FGS MOSEL and FGS ROTTWEIL (Germany), TCG ERDEMLI (Turkey), ITS CROTONE (Italy) and HMS PENZANCE (United Kingdom).

Well I do not believe that Drazki was part of the SNMG despite the NATO press release more likely that she took part in NATO Operation Active Endeavour, as previously done by Bulgarian warships.

Doğu Akdeniz 2013 Naval Exercise

Turkish Navy announced that the Doğu Akdeniz 2013 naval exercise will start on 4th November. The invitation only exercise will continue till 14 November 2013.

Besides ships, planes of Turkish Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force, SNMG-2 task force of NATO and one US Navy destroyer will also take part in the exercise which will be conducted in like its name implies in Eastern Mediterranean.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop mutual cooperation and to provide training opportunities to the participating forces on regional crisis intervention along a provided scenario.

5 naval helicopters, 1 maritime patrol plane, one underwater assault team and one naval WMD response team, planes from Turkish air force and NATO Maritime Security Center of Excellence will participate in the exercise along with the ships listed below:

Number Name Type Country
F-X TCG X Frigate Turkey
F-X TCG X Frigate Turkey
F-X TCG X Frigate Turkey
F-X TCG X Corvette Turkey
F-X TCG X Corvette Turkey
P-X TCG X Fast Attack Boat Turkey
P-X TCG X Fast Attack Boat Turkey
P-X TCG X Fast Attack Boat Turkey
P-X TCG X Fast Attack Boat Turkey
S-X TCG X Submarine Turkey
S-X TCG X Submarine Turkey
S-X TCG X Submarine Turkey
A-X TCG X Tanker Turkey
A-X TCG X Tanker Turkey
NL-X TCG X LST Turkey
P-X TCG X Patrol Boat Turkey
P-X TCG X Patrol Boat Turkey
F-101 ESPS Alvaro De Bazan Frigate Spain
F-246 TCG Salihreis Frigate Turkey
F-219 FGS Sachsen Frigate Germany
DDG-55 USS Stout Destroyer USA

Any additions and corrections are most welcome.

Ukrainian Corvette On Her Way To Operation Active Endeavour

U209 Ternopil

Ukrainian corvette Ternopil, passing through Bosphorus.

The Ukrainian, Grisha (Project 1124 EM/P) class corvette U-209 Ternopil passed through the Bosphorus today. She will take part in NATO anti terror operation in Mediterranean Operation Active Endeavour.

The Ukrainian has deployed two warships at the same time for two different operations. The Krivak class frigate U-310 Hetman Sahaydachniy is in the Gulf of Aden to conduct anti-piracy operations while as mentioned U-209 Ternopil will take part in Operation Active Endeavour.

The simultaneous deployment of two warships is a considerable feat for the Ukrainian Navy considering their size and resources.

This is the Google translation of the official announcement of the Ternopil deployment:

Today, October 8, antisubmarine corvettes Naval Forces of Ukraine “Ternopil” under Captain 3rd rank Oleg Grigoriev went from Sevastopol in the Mediterranean Sea to the tasks NATO antiterrorist operation “Active Endeavour”. While patrolling in a certain area of the Mediterranean Ukrainian crew of the ship will carry out practical steps to monitor civilian shipping, collecting and recording information on suspicious vehicles, their maintenance and inspection, maintenance vehicles with loads of special importance, antimine of civilian shipping. On board the “Ternopil” is an observation team of crew and unit of Marines.

Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Admiral Il’yin when wiring the ship said that the corvette “Ternopil” their participation in Operation “Active Endeavour” is doing noble work for the Navy and the state. Head of the Armed Forces expressed confidence that the crew of honor perform all tasks.

Personnel also read out greetings from the head region, which has patronage over the ship – Head of Ternopil Regional State Administration Valentine Hoptyana. The Governor wished the sailors swimming successful and happy return to home base.

Since parting words to the crew and asked Assistant Secretary of Defense Ukraine stock Admiral Viktor Maksimov, Sebastopol City Council member Peter Kudryashov, Chairman of the Board of Veterans Ukraine Navy Rear Admiral Victor reserve Nosenko, director of “skeleton” Leonid Sobolev.

Help. practical phase of NATO antiterrorist operation “Active Endeavour” in the Mediterranean began Oct. 6, 2001.

According to the agreement between Ukraine and NATO on Ukraine’s participation in naval operations in the Mediterranean, the state supports the Alliance by bringing the operation of ships and inspection teams of the Naval Forces of Ukraine.

The purpose of the operation – to prevent trafficking of weapons, drugs, preventing terrorism, human trafficking and the control of shipping.

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