Sea Shield 2017 Naval Exercise

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Spanish warship ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon passed through Turkish Straits to take part in the exercise.

Once again Romania is hosting Sea Shield naval exercise. The exercise will take place between 1st and 11th February 2017. The exercise started with the planning and familiarization phase which will end on 5th February.

The participants have already arrived at the Romanian port Constanta for this year’s exercise. Besides, Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Spain, Turkey and U.S.A. have deployed warships. The only submarine of the exercise is TCG Dolunay. She will play the role of the hunter and the hunted.

According to the press release of the Romanian Naval Forces, 2800 military personnel is taking part in the exercise. Romania will provide besides warships two mobile missile-launchers, a special-operation detachment, two MiG 21 Lancer airplanes and a medical-evacuation helicopter. Turkey has also dispatched one CN-235 ASW patrol plane.

This is the list of the participating naval units:

Number Name Type Country
11 BGS Smeli Frigate Bulgaria
340 HMCS St John’s Frigate Canada
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdnand Frigate Romania
111 ROS Marasesti Frigate Romania
265 ROS Admiral Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
264 ROS Admiral Eustatiu Sebstian Corvette Romania
190 ROS Lastunul Corvette Romania
188 ROS Zborul Corvette Romania
25 ROS Lieutenant Lupu Dunescu Mine sweeper Romania
29 ROS Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu Mine sweeper Romania
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon Frigate Spain
F-242 TCG Fatih Frigate Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
78 USS Porter Destroyer USA
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Nusret 2016 Mine Warfare Exercise

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Romanian mine sweeper ROS Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente will take part in the Nusret 2016 mine warfare exercise. This photo is from her spring deployment.

Each year Turkish Navy organises a mine warfare exercise named after the famous minelayer Nusret.

This year the exercise will be held between 25 November and 4 December  2016, in İzmir Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to provide training for the planning and execution of mine warfare and to improve the interoperability in mine warfare, between warships from participant countries.

Turkish Armed Forces will take part with 7 mine hunters, one mine layer / command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, one mine retriever, 3 Coast Guard vessels, one naval EOD team, one helicopter, 2 F-16C fighters and one C-130 cargo plane.

Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Romania and Spain will send one mine warfare ship. Belgium will take part with one autonomous underwater vehicle and its crew. Greece and Romania will each deploy one EOD team as well.

The below is the list of the participating warships as far as I could identify:

Number Name Type Country
63 BGS Priboy Mine sweeper Bulgaria
M-1058 FGS Fulda Mine hunter Germany
A-470 HS Aliakmon Command Greece
M-63 HS Kallisto Mine hunter Greece
30 ROS Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Mine sweeper Romania
 M-36 ESPS Tajo Mine hunter Spain
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
M-265 TCG Alanya Mine hunter Turkey
M-266 TCG Amasra Mine hunter Turkey
M-267  TCG Ayvalık Mine hunter Turkey
M-269 TCG Anamur Mine hunter Turkey
M-260 TCG Edincik Mine hunter Turkey
M-261 TCG Edremit Mine hunter Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Mine hunter Turkey
A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Command Turkey
P-1206  TCG Karşıyaka Patrol ship Turkey

Further reading:

Nusret 2014

Nusret 2013

Nusret 2012

Nusret 2011

Nusret 2010

Mavi Balina 2016 Naval Exercise

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Romanian corvette, Contraamiral Horia Macellariu on her way to the Mavi Balina 2016 ASW exercise.

Yesterday, on 19th November 2016, anti submarine warfare exercise Mavi Balina (Blue Whale) has started. The exercise led by Turkish Navy will be held in Eastern Mediterranean.

The aim of the exercise is to increase the submarine warfare and ASW skill of the participating units. Turkish Navy is taking part with 4 frigates, one corvette and 5 submarines. Besides Turkey, Bulgaria, Canada, Pakistan, Romania, Spain and USA are also taking part in the exercise with warships.

The list of the participating units:

Number Name Type Country
41 BNS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
256 ROS Contraamiral Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
A-15 ESPS Cantabria Tanker Spain
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Corvette Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-496 TCG Gökova Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-503 TCG Beykoz Corvette Turkey
P-344 TCG Rüzgar Missile boat Turkey
P-345 TCG Poyraz Missile boat Turkey
S-351 TCG Doğanay Submarine Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
S-354 TCG Sakarya Submarine Turkey
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
S-359 TCG Burakreis Submarine Turkey
64 USS Carney Destroyer USA

Breeze 2016 Naval Exercise

Bulgaria is hosting the Breeze 2016 naval exercise from 8. July till 17. July 2016.

As many as 25 naval vessels from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Spain and Turkey, two aircraft and two helicopters, and 1700 troops will take part in the exercise.

Turkish led NATO mine task force SNMCMG-2 is also in Bulgaria for this occasion.

This is the list of the participating warship That I could find:

Number Name Nation Type
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Tender
M-260 TCG Edincik Turkey Mine hunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Mine hunter
62 ROM Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Romania Mine sweeper
 S-356 TCG Anafartalar Turkey Submarine
P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ Turkey Patrol boat
P-337 TCG Atak Turkey Fast attack craft
F-222 ROM  Regina Maria Romania Frigate
190 ROM Lastunul Romania Corvette
P-70 HS Y. Grigorpoulos Greece Fast attack craft

NATO SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

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The ships of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 in one photo. From left to right: A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa, M-33 ESPS Tambre (inside), 62 BGS Shkval, M-261 TCG Edremit.

Turkish led NATO mine warfare task force Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 arrived in Istanbul for a port visit on 5th February 2016. The last time when the SNMCMG-2 visit the town was in July 2014.

The task force spend the previous week in Marmara Sea practising mine sweeping and hunting operations. Duration of  the port visit in Istanbul was not disclosed. But presumably the task force will leave Istanbul on 8th February or on 9th February latest and will sail to the Black Sea.

According to the previously announced schedule the task force will visit Georgian port Batumi and at the end of the month will take part in the Bulgarian led mine warfare exercise Poseidon. Currently the task force is made up with these ship:

Number
Name
Nation
Type
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Flagship
M-261 TCG Edremit Turkey Mine hunter
M-33 SPS Tambre Spain Mine hunter
62 BGS Shkval Bulgaria Mine sweeper

The Romanian MoD announced that their mine sweeper 30 ROS Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente will join the task force. Since this mine sweeper is not present in Istanbul I believe she will participate when the task force is in the Black Sea.

The Spanish mine hunter is the only non Black Sea nation warship of the task force. Her presence in the Black Sea is subject to the rules of Montreux Convention. The convention limits the duration of stay of non Black Sea nation warships to 21 days.

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M-261 TCG Edremit

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62 BGS Shkval

 

Nusret 2015 Mine Warfare Exercise Started

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Romanian mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axentel heading to Northern Aegean for Nusret 2015 Exercise.

Each year Turkish Navy organises a mine warfare exercise named after the famous minelayer Nusret.

This year the exercise will be held between 21 and 27 October 2015, in Saros Bay, northern Aegean.

The aim of the exercise is to provide training for the planning and execution of mine warfare and to improve the interoperability in mine warfare, between warships from participant countries.

Turkish Navy will provide 14 warships, 6 planes and helicopters and one EOD team. Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek mine hunters/sweepers will also take part in the exercise.

The Romanian participant is Musca class mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente. The Bulgarian participant is Briz class mine sweeper Shkval. I have no information about the Greek participant yet.

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Bulgarian mine sweeper Shkval heading to Northern Aegean for Nusret 2015 Exercise. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

There will be EOD teams from Greece and Romania as well as an unmanned underwater vehicle team from US Navy taking part.

 

Further reading:

Nusret 2014

Nusret 2013

Nusret 2012

Nusret 2011

Nusret 2010

Sea Shield 2015 Naval Exercise

TCG Atılay passing through Istanbul, on her way to the Sea Shiel 2015 naval exercise in Romania. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

TCG Atılay passing through Istanbul, on her way to the Sea Shiel 2015 naval exercise in Romania. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

The Romanian led naval exercise Sea Shield 2015 has started on 20 July 2015.

The exercise will last till 24 July 2015 and is aimed at developing international cooperation in the defense area with similar structures of NATO member and partner states to strengthen and develop common procedures for battle.

Anti submarine warfare training is an important aspect of the exercise. The Turkish submarine S-347 TCG Atılay is acting as the hunter and the hunted. Turkey is the only NATO country that has operational submarines in the Black Sea. TCG Atılay is the first foreign submarine to visit Constanta in 7 years.

Of the other NATO countries Bulgaria has decommissioned its sole Romeo (Project 633) class BNS Slava in 2011 and terminated Bulgaria’s submarine force after 94 years. And Romania has one Kilo (Project 636) class submarine ROS Delfinul, which is in reserve status.

Standing NATO Maritime Group One is taking part in this exercise while SNMCMG-2 has left the Black Sea on 14 July 2015.

Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny is also taking part in this exercise.

Below is the list of the participants to this exercise:

Number Name Type Nationality
11 BGS Smeli Corvette Bulgaria
P-68 Daniolos Attack craft Greece
F-803 HNLMS Tromp Frigate Netherlands
F-334 NRP Francisco De Almeida Frigate Portugal
30 ROS Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Mine hunter Romania
188 ROS Zborul Corvette Romania
190 ROS Lăstunul Corvette Romania
264 ROS Cam. Eustaţiu Sebastian Corvette Romania
265 ROS Cam. Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Frigate Romania
F-222 ROS Regina Maria Frigate Romania
ROS Grozavul Tug Romania
F-240 TCG Yavuz Frigate Turkey
S-347 TCG Atılay Submarine Turkey
U-130 Hetman Sahaidachny Frigate Ukraine

Bulgaria Hosts Breeze 2015 Naval Exercise

TCG Enez (left) and TCG Barbaros (right) on their way to Varna. Both are taking part in Breeze 2015 exercise with  NATO SNMCMG-2 task force.

TCG Enez (left) and TCG Barbaros (right) on their way to Varna. Both are taking part in Breeze 2015 exercise with NATO SNMCMG-2 task force.

Bulgaria is hosting Breeze 2015 naval exercise from 3 to 12 July 2015. According to Bulgarian minisry of Defence 30 warships from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey and USA will take part.
Bulgaian Navy will contribute with 15 combat and auxiliary ships and boats, two helicopters and more than 1,000 personnel.

The main objective of the exercise is to improve the interoperability and interaction between the Navy included therein countries by practicing their participation in Operation in response to the crisis. Nineteenth edition of “Breeze” will contribute to improving cooperation in multinational environment with 21 state organizations, institutions and agencies from four ministries, local authorities and non-governmental and private organizations. Within the exercise will obtain certification of a ship of the Navy the Republic of Bulgaria – mine hunter “Tsibar” according to the methodology for assessment of NATO MAREVAL. Host of “Breeze 2015” Point is basing Varna Naval Base – Navy. July 6 (Monday) at 15.00. To 18.00. Of foreign warships based at Port Varna and Port Varna will be open to the citizens and visitors.

 

As usual, I have tried to find information about the participants. This is the list as far as I could compiled.

Number Name Type Nationality
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Mine hunter Turkey
M-36 ESPS Tajo Mine hunter Spain
S-350 TCG Yıldıray Submarine Turkey
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Attack craft Turkey
F-334 NRP Francisco De Almeida Frigate Portugal
F-803 HNLMS Tromp Frigate Netherlands
DDG-78 USS Porter Destroyer USA
189 Pescarusul Attack craft Romania
32 BGS Tsibar Mine hunter Bulgaria
41 BGS Drazki Frigate Bulgaria
42 BGS Verni Frigate Bulgaria

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.

An Update On Submarines Of The Black Sea Navies

The submarines are getting fashionable again by the navies of the Black Sea nations.

Well not every country is happy to have a silent service in its navy. Bulgaria its sole Romeo (Project 633) class BNS Slava in 2011 and sold her bulk in December 2013, effectively ending its submarine service after 94 years.

But Bulgaria is the exception. Ukraine has spent considerable amounts of money and time to get her only submarine a veteran Foxtrot (Project 641) class U-01 Zaporizya back in to service. This boat is in regular service since January 2013.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has one active Kilo class (Project 877) diesel submarine, Alrosa (originally Varshavyanka) and one Tango class submarine Svyatoy Knyaz Georgiy. Though still listed as an active unit the status of the Svyatoy Knyaz Georgiy is dubious. This is why Russia is planning to add 6 new submarines to the BSF in the next couple of years. The first of these boats Novorossiysk is launched in November 2013 and is expected to enter into the Black Sea in July 2014.

According to Romanian website economica.net, Romanian Navy decided to modernize and reactive it’s only submarine Delfinul.  She is a Kilo class diesel submarine. She entered into service in 1986 and she has not been used since 1996.

The cost of reactivating the submarine is estimated between $20 – 30 million. It is also not clear whether the announcement of the Romanian Defense Minster in Contanta was just for a lip service or for real.

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