Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 16)

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MB-31 passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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MB-31 passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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MB-31 passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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MB-31 was escorted by coast guard vessel TCSG-106. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

On 28 March 2015, the Russian ocean going tug MB-31 made her southbound passage through Bosphorus.

Date Number Name Direction Nationality
28.3.2015 MB-31 Southbound Russia
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

SNMG-2 Finished It’s Stay In Istanbul

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On 21 March 2015 the ships of the NATO’s SNMG-2 have left the Black Sea. While the Turkish frigate TCG Turgutreis left the task force and returned to her home port in Gölcük, İzmit, the flag-ship of the SNMG-2, USS Vicksburg sailed straight to the Mediterranean.

The Canadian and Italian frigates made a 2 day port visit in Istanbul which ended on 23 March 2015.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 15)

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French frigate La Fayette heading to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

French frigate La Fayette seen from her stern

French frigate La Fayette seen from her stern

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Nikolay Filchenkov making her southbound passage through Istanbul Strait. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

On 24 March 2015, the Russian landing ship, Nikolay Filchenkov made her southbound passage through Bosphorus. Later in the evening the French frigate F-710 FS La Fayette made her northbound passage, almost in dark.

Date Number Name Direction Nationality
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 14)

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German tanker A-1442 FGS Spessart, attached to NATO SNMG-2 exiting Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Italian contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2 ITS Aliseo passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton, passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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The flagship of the SNMG-2 USS Vicksburg leaving Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Russian landing ship Alexander Shabalin seen in Çanakkale on 19 March 2015. She was returning from her Mediterranean deployment.

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Russian landing ship Novocharkassk seen in Çanakkale on 19 March 2015. She was returning from her Mediterranean deployment.

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Russian landing ship Azov returning to the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

On 17 March 2015, the Russian Ropucha class landing ship Azov made her southbound passage through Bosphorus while her sisters Alexander Shabalin and Novocharkassk made their northbound passage through Dardanelles on 19 Mach 2015.

On 21 March 2015, the NATO SNMG-2 task force left the Black Sea. The Turkish contribution to the task force TCG Turgutreis returned to her home port Gölcük as her deployment with the SNMG-2 was up. It is not clear which ship she will be replaced with. The flagship of the SNMG-2 USS Vicksburg headed straight to the Mediterranean while the remaining ships are making a port visit in Istanbul.

Date Number Name Direction Nationality
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

SNMG-2 Arrived In Constanta

SNMG2 exercising with Turkish Navy

SNMG-2 exercising with Turkish Navy in the Black Sea. Photo: NATO MARCOM

After spending the week on the high seas, the ships of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 arrived in Constanta, Romania, on 13 March 2015 for a scheduled 3 day port visit.

SNMG2 is currently composed of the flagship CG-69 USS Vicksburg, 337 HMCS Fredericton, F-241 TCG Turgutreis, A-1442 FGS Spessart, F-574 ITS Aliseo and F-222 ROS Regina Maria.

According to the spokesperson of the Naval Forces General Staff, lieutenant-colonel Corneliu Pavel, during the stopover in Romania of the SNMG-2, scheduled between March 13-15, visits of the foreign military officials are programmed at the Fleet Command, as well as sporting competitions between the Romanian and foreign sailors that will be hosted on the campus of the Mircea cel Batran Naval Academy and visits by the crews of the ships to the Romanian Navy Museum. 

“The SNMG-2 activities will continue at sea, starting with Monday, March 16, with exercises being programmed together with the Marasesti frigate, two corvettes, two missile-bearing ships, as well as with Romanian military airships”, the spokesperson added. 

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.

SNMG-2 Arrives In Varna

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Bulgarian frigate BNS Drazki, in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton arriving to Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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Turkish frigate TCG Turgutreis arriving to Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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German tanker FGS Spessart in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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Italian frigate ITS Alieso in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

The ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2) arrived to-day to the Bulgarian port Varna. There is a very strong north wind in the Black Sea throughout the weekend and I think the sailors are happy to be in a port in this weather. According to the excellent Bulgarian blog SeaDog, the flagship of the task force USS Vicksburg did not enter the harbor due to strong winds. She is expected to arrive on 8 March 2015.

“Our Sailors are excited to visit Varna and to interact with the people who represent this city and nation,” said Rear Admiral Williamson. “More importantly, we are looking forward to getting back underway and training with the professional mariners of the Bulgarian Navy.”

During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership will meet with local Bulgarian authorities and Navy officials to discuss numerous issues of shared importance, to include exercises in the Black Sea.

SNMG2 is in the Black Sea as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the region to assure NATO Allies of the Alliance’s commitment to collective defense. During the deployment, SNMG2 ships are training with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies.

According to Russian websites the first two ship of the task force to enter the Black Sea USS Vicksburg and TCG Turgutreis were greeted by Russian Su-24 and Su-30 warplanes.

Turkish Parliament Extended The Anti-Piracy Mission Of Turkish Navy

On 3 February 2015, The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, extended the presence of Turkish Navy in  Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and adjacent seas.

The first bill allowing Turkish government to deploy Turkish Naval Forces for anti piracy operations was accepted in 10 February 2009. It was extended in one year periods ever since.

Turkish warship are  tasked with:

  • Performing reconnaissance and patrol duties,
  • Calling on ships suspected of piracy/ armed robbery, on the radio, boarding them if their flag country approves and interfering in accordance with the international law if the ship is not showing any flag,
  • Escorting and protecting merchant ships,
  • Helping merchant ships under attack of pirates/sea robbers,
  • Intervening, stopping, neutralizing, and confiscating any vessels used by pirates/sea robbers, and using appropriate force if necessary,
  • Arresting and detaining pirates/sea robbers and armed persons in these vessels,
  • Accepting the representatives of the countries that will prosecute pirates/ armed robbers on board, for the preparations of judicial proceedings, according to the UN resolution 1851.
  • Arresting and detaining, pirates/armed robbers on board until they are being handed over to the countries that will prosecute them,
  • Turning in, the suspects of pirates/sea robbers with the exception of the case that these are Turkish citizens, to the authorities the nation where the pirates/sea robbers will be prosecuted,
  • Executing all kinds of policing duties including interrogation, collecting evidence.

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.”

UPDATED: Mavi Balina Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise Starts Tomorrow

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TCG Batıray as seen in August 2014 in Istanbul. She is one of 4 Turkish submarines taking part in Mavi Balina ASW exercise.

I have updated and completed the list of the participating units:

F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate Turkey
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
S-347 TCG Atılay Submarine Turkey
S-349 TCG Batıray Submarine Turkey
S-356 TCG Anafartalar Submarine Turkey
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör Tanker Turkey
F-247 TCG Kemalreis Frigate Turkey
F-208 FGS Niedersachsen Frigate Germany
FFH-333 HMCS Toronto Frigate Canada
CG-55 USS Leyte Gulf Cruiser USA
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbón Frigate Spain
F-84 ESPS Reina Sofia Frigate Spain
DDG-67 USS Cole Destroyer USA
FFG-260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
S-90 HMS Torbay Submarine United kingdom

According to Turkish Navy besides the above listed units one rapid analysis team from NATO MARCOM and observers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Chile, Georgia, Kuwait, Lebanon will participate in the exercise.

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