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NATO SNMCMG-2 In Batumi And In Piraeus

Bulgarian minesweeper Shakval is one of the ship visiting Batumi. This photo was taken in February 2016 during her visit with SNMCMG-2 in Istanbul.

A part of the UK led NATO mine warfare task force Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 arrived in Batumi Georgia on 3rd November for a port visit.

The NATO delegation led by Vice Admiral Bléjean, the Deputy Commander of the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) held meeting with Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Mgebrishvili. According to official statements, the sides discussed issues of bilateral relations between NATO and Georgia in the maritime field and cooperation enhancement matters. Special emphasis was made on the participation of the Georgian Joint Maritime Operations Center (JMOC) in NATO-led operation – “Sea Guardian” which is aimed at ensuring safety in the Mediterranean Sea and nearby maritime space.

Since Georgia does not operate warships with enough range and endurance to actually deploy to Operation Sea Guardian, the participation of the Georgian JMOC is the only possible way for this country.

The SNMCMG-2 is spilled in two parts. One part, consisting of frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand, mine hunter ROS Lupu Dinescu from Romania, minesweeper BGS Shakval from Bulgaria and mine hunter TCG Edremit from Turkey is visiting Batumi. The second part, consisting of HMS Enterprise, HMS Pembroke, and ITS Crotone is in Piraeus Greece.

 

 

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NATO Maps The Pattern Of Life In The Med

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From top HS Navarinon, TCG Gaziantep and ITS Aviere. Photo: from Turkish Navy official web site

NATO Maritime Command has started a focused operation to map, patterns of life in the Mediterranean.

This focused operation is led by Captain Emre Sezenler, Commodore of 2. Destroyer Flotilla of Turkish Navy and TCG Gaziantep acts as his flagship. Italian frigate ITS Aviere and Greek frigate HS Navarinon are the other components of this task force.

Below is the press release about the operation:

NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom (Feb. 7, 2017) – Three NATO ships, provided by Turkey, Italy and Greece are dedicating specific attention to portions of the eastern Mediterranean Sea over the next couple of weeks in what is called an Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) focused operation.

Operation Sea Guardian is a standing Maritime Security Operation with three main tasks, Maritime Situational Awareness, counter-terrorism and regional capacity building. As a standing operation, it is continually active through a network of ships and maritime operations centers providing information about Maritime Situational Awareness. This baseline is augmented by focused operations that concentrate on specific areas of interest.

Focused operations dedicate various types of assets under NATO operational control to developing and maintaining an accurate picture of daily activity in various parts of the Mediterranean Sea. This information builds what is called Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) which is shared across the Alliance and can be used to help identify possible security concerns while at the same time increasing cooperation, flexibility and strength through unified effort.

his is the first focus operation of 2017 and the second since Operation Sea Guardian was initiated on November 9, 2016. The first focus operation provided Allied navies information on daily patterns of life near shipping routes and fishing grounds in the central Mediterranean in order to support building a greater MSA across the Alliance.

The operation as a whole is about the fusion of information to create a more comprehensive picture of daily activities in the Mediterranean. In addition to the details provided by these assets actively collecting information in specific areas, Allied nations’ forces support this operation in various ways through active, standby or associated support.

From The Archive (20)

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Italian helicopter cruiser, C-550 ITS Vittorio Veneto in Istanbul. She visited Istanbul a few times before being decommissioned in 2003. I have no date for this photo but it looks like late 1990’s.

TCG Enez In Italian Minex 2015

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Engin class mine hunter of Turkish Navy, TCG Enez during Italian Minex 2015. Photo: Italian Navy.

M-262 TCG Enez, Engin class mine hunter from Turkish Navy is taking part in Italian mine warfare exercise Italian Minex 2015 as part of NATO SNMCMG-2.

The training involves all the staff and facilities of the strength of mine countermeasures based in La Spezia and forces European and NATO mine countermeasures, including Spain, Germany, France, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey and the participation of observers from different Nations such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, the United States, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The purpose of the exercise is to train the staff, employed on board and ashore, to plan and conduct effective remediation of the seabed by working in a scenario that plays, as realistically as possible, a situation of crisis in which the threat is not It is predictable. The task force will be able to make a complete mapping of the seabed are able to discover, locate and identify any object visually / threat present beneath the surface.

This is the list of the other participants as far as could find:

Number Name Type Nationality
M-645 FNS Orion Minehunter France
M-1063 FGS Bad Bevensen Minehunter Germany
M-63 HN Kallisto Minehunter Greece
5556 ITS Alghero Minehunter Italy
M-31 ESPS Seguna Minehunter Spain
M-32 ESPS Sella Minehunter Spain
M-262 TCG Enez Minehunter Turkey

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.

From The Archive (6)

My captured picture

This is Italian warship D-551 ITS Audace. Armed with a 127mm main gun 4 76mm secondary guns, Sea Sparrow and SM-1 Standard anti-air missiles and Otomat anti ship missiles she was a deadly ship. This photo is probably taken in 1992.

 

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.

Italian Carrier Cavour Arrived In Marmaris

Italian aircraft carrier ITS C-550 Cavour in Marmaris.

Italian aircraft carrier ITS C-550 Cavour in Marmaris. Photos: haber7.com

The Italian aircraft carrier C-550 ITS Cavour arrived in Marmaris as planned, today.

The Italian task force commanded by Rear Admiral Carlo Massagli, consists of carrier ITS C-550 Cavour, destroyer D-554 ITS Calio Dulio and the fleet tanker A-5327 ITS Stromboli.

The destroyer and the tanker have docked at the Aksaz Naval Base adjacent to the touristic town of Marmaris. The highly visible aircraft carrier however docked at the port in Marmaris usually used by large passenger ships.

According to Wikipedia, Cavour was laid down by Fincantieri on 17 July 2001, and she was launched from the RivaTrigoso shipyard in SestriLevante, on 20 July 2004.

The ship is designed to combine fixed wing V/STOL and helicopter air operations, command and control operations and the transport of military or civil personnel and heavy vehicles. The 134 metre, 2,800 m2 hangar space can double as a vehicle hold capable of holding up to 24 main battle tanks  or many more lighter vehicles, and is fitted aft with access ramps rated to 70 tons, as well as two elevators rated up to 30 tons for aircraft. Cavour can also operate as Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH), accommodating heavy transport helicopters and 325 marines.

The ship is armed with following weapons:

  • 4 × 8 cell A-43 Sylver launchers carrying the MBDA Aster 15 surface to air missile
  • 2 × Oto Melara 76/62 mm Super Rapido gun
  • 3 × Oerlikon Contraves25/80 mm AA gun

The Italian ships will stay in Marmaris until 12th February 2013.

Click here for the video of Cavour in Marmaris.

Click here for more photos.

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Italian Aircraft Carrier ITS Cavour Will Visit Marmaris

Tomorrow, on 9th February 2013 the Italian aircraft carrier C-550 ITS Cavour will start a port visit in Marmaris, Muğla.

The Andrea Doria class destroyer D-554 ITS Calio Dulio and the fleet tanker A-5327 ITS Stromboli are escorting the aircraft carrier. The destroyer and the tanker are going to dock in Aksaz Naval Base adjacent to the town of Marmaris where as the aircraft carrier will dock to the pier reserved for large passenger ships in Marmaris town where she will be highly visible to everyone.

What’s good is an aircraft carrier if you cannot show off with it? Right.

Smetlivy Left Italy after Repairs

According to Russian website Rusnavy.com, the Russian destroyer Smetlivy left Italy.

She was in the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the joint Russo-Italian naval exercise IONIEX-2012.  Smetlivy apparently suffered a problem with her fuel system so that it was necessary to repair her in Taranto naval base. She will join other Russian ships already in the Mediterranean and they will altogether sail to Gulf of Aden to combat piracy.

It was earlier said that one of oil pump blocks was broken down on BSF destroyer Smetlivy that had called at Italian port Taranto after completion of the IONIEX-2012 joint naval exercise. The ship’s commanding staff decided to ask Italian partners to help. 

In order to eliminate the failure found in the Russian destroyer, Italian Navy’s workshops made the needed parts in a day. When the crew had finished all repair works, Smetlivy departed from Taranto in the evening of Nov 13 and is currently heading for assigned zone in the Mediterranean Sea. 

BSF task group consisting of Guards missile cruiser Moskva, landing ship Saratov, and replenishment tanker Ivan Bubnov is performing combat training tasks in the East Mediterranean. 

The ships are holding joint tactical drills practicing short-range antisubmarine and antiaircraft warfare. It is planned to conduct watch officer drills, train signalmen and radar operators, and carry out damage control drills. 

The task group will be soon reinforced by BSF landing ship Novocherkassk which is to pass the Black Sea Straits in the next few days. 

Late in Nov, the task group will pass the Suez Canal and start anti-piracy mission near the Horn of Africa early in Dec, reports Russian defense ministry

 

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