TCG Oruçreis, The Only Ship In NATO’s SNMG-2, Takes Part in Exercise Joint Warrior

In July I posted the above photo of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and asked if this was the lamest NATO fleet ever? The answer was “No” as at that time SNMG-1 was made of only one Italian destroyer. Today SNMG-1 has 4 ships.

In the mean time, the SNMG-2 has indeed become the lamest NATO fleet. On NATO’s website the SNMG-2 fleet consists of two ships as in July: Turkish flagship F-245 TCG Oruçreis and Greek frigate F-464 HS Kanaris. So far so good. But this is the list of the ships participating at the second of two annual international joint military exercise (with UK, NATO and allied forces), Joint Warrior 112 which runs from 3rd – 17th October 2011.

From the USA, the Commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 is embarked in the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), the leader of a class of guided missile destroyers. The Ashleigh Burke accompanied by the Fleet Replenishment Oiler, USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) – both based in Norfolk, Virginia.
From Denmark are: HDMS Esbern Snare (L17), an Absalon-class command and support ship; and HDMS Vædderen – (F359), a Thetis-class ocean patrol vessel .
From Turkey is the frigate, TCG Orucreis (F245).
From Germany comes the Bremen class frigate, FGS Rheinland-Pfalz – F209.
From the Netherlands is the third De Zeven Provinciën class frigate, HNLMS De Ruyter – F804
From Estonia is the launcher ENS TASUJA (A432)
From Germany is FGS Usberrhern (M1095)
From Poland comes the minesweeper ORP Flaming (621 )
From Norway is the minesweeper HNOMS Maaloey
From the UK come the Fleet Amphibious Flagship and High Readiness Assault Ship, HMS Bulwark (L15), with 150 men and 19 vehicles of the 2nd Marine Infantry (Le Mans) Regiment embarked; Hunt-class mine countermeasure vessel HMS Hurworth (M39) Sandown class minehunter HMS Penzance (M106), Hunt-class minesweeper HMS Cattistock (M31), Hunt-class minesweeper HMS Ledbury ( M30) and Sandown-class minehunter HMS Blyth (M111).

Unfortunately the Greek frigate is not listed as participant which means that she is not here. Which further means that TCG Oruçreis is taking part in this exercise representing NATO’s SNMG-2. In other words there is only TCG Oruçreis left in SNMG-2. And that makes SNMG-2 officially the smallest NATO fleet.

Mr. Dougie Coull has made excellent photos of the participating ships. If you look to the photos of the Turkish ships you will notice the big blue NATO pennant on the each side of the bridge. This pennant clearly shows that the Turkish ships is under NATO’s control.

I hope that the disappearance of HS Kanaris has nothing to do with this:

Greece will significantly reduce its participation in Nato and EU military missions due to the economic crisis in the country, National Defence Minister Panos Beglitis announced on the sidelines of an informal EU defence ministers’ Council held here on Friday. 
He said that the ministry was preparing to cut down Greece’s participation in the Nato and EU missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Somalia, noting that local political forces in Afghanistan and Kosovo were anyway entering the phase where they would gradually take over control. 
Beglitis made it clear, however, that Greece would not withdraw entirely and will continue to maintain a small presence as long as the international missions continued to exist.


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