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.

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.

Photos Of TCG Salihreis

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TCG Salihreis passing by the Spanish frigate Blas De Lezo, at the end of the Spanish ship’s deployment.

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From left to right, Spanish frigate F-103 ESPS Blas De Lezo, German frigate F-219 FGS Sachsen and Turkish frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis in formation.

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The MEKO 200 Track IIB class frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis was deployed with the NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, between June and December 2013. The photos are from this deployment. The last photo is my favorite.
All photos courtesy of Mr. Muhammet Metin.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Photos Of SPS Blas De Lezo And TCG Salihreis

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The flagship of the SNMG-2, Spanish frigate F-103 SPS Blas De Lezo in İstanbul.

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The hanger of the SPS Blas De Lezo, seen from her landing pad.

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The mast of the SPS Blas De Lezo.

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One of the four SPY-1D radar arrays of the SPS Blas De Lezo.

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The detailed view of one of the four SPY-1D radar arrays of the SPS Blas De Lezo.

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The starboard side of the superstructure of SPS Blas De Lezo.

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SPS Blas De Lezo, docked in İstanbul.

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SPS Blas De Lezo, docked in İstanbul.

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TCG Salihreis with her new Smart-S Mk2 3D radar.

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TCG Salihreis docked in İstanbul.

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TCG Salihreis docked in İstanbul.

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The starboard side of TCG Salihreis.

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The detail view of the Smart-S Mk2 3D radar on board of TCG Salihreis.

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