Submarine Search And Rescue Exercise Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran Has Ended

Italian submarine ITS Todaro, Turkish submarine TCG Çanakkale and rescue and towing ship TCG Akın are among the participants of the submarine rescue exercise Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 21.

Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 2021, the 11th in a series of NATO sponsored live Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) exercises was held 12 to 24 September in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Aksaz, Turkey.

I think that the scenarios applied in this year’s Dynamic Monarc/Kurtaran exercise are very similar to the scenarios in Kurtaran 2019 exercise held 2 years ago at the same location. You can read my notes on the exercise two years ago here: Kurtaran 2019 Submarine Rescue Exercise

The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) ran Dynamic Monarch exercise, tied to the annual Turkish Navy exercise Kurtaran and hosted by the Turkish Navy.

Assets and personnel from Italy, Turkey together with personnel from Canada, Greece and Spain, United Kingdom and the United States also took part in the submarine escape and rescue training scenarios. Qatar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia were present as the observers.

SNMCMG-2 Entered The Black Sea

Spanish Meteoro class OPV, ESPS Rayo in Istanbul.

Italian Gaeta class mine hunter ITS Viareggio.

Turkish Engin class mine hunter TCG Edincik.

Between 20 and 23rd September the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) made a port visit in Istanbul.

The task force consisting of The flagship ESPS Rayo, Turkish minehunter TCG Edincik and Italian minehunter ITS Viareggio were berthed at the Sarayburnu quay.

After this short break, the task force sailed through Istanbul and entered the Black Sea for the third time in 2021. The Romanian mine sweeper ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu and Bulgarian mine sweeper BGS Shkval joined the group after they enter the Black Sea.

According to the NATO press release the deployment will include the port visits to Batumi, Georgia, after which there will be an exercise with the Georgian Coast Guard. The deployment will also include a port visit to Samsun, Turkey.

Turkish Navy Takes The Helm Of SNMCMG-2

The ships of the SNMCMG-2 in one shot. From far to near: TCG Ayvalık, ESPS Tajo, and the flagship TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa. The hand-over ceremony took in the small harbor in Tuzla, İstanbul at the premises of the Naval Academy where the flagship has its home port. 

Turkish Navy took the helm of the NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two with a ceremony held on 19 February 2021 in Istanbul.

SNMCMG2 will be commanded by Turkey for the fifth time since the inception of the group. Between 20 February-16 April 2021, the group will participate in mine warfare exercises in Greece, Italy, and Romania. MCM vessels from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Turkey will take part in SNMCMG2 at different periods.

Captain Yusuf Karagulle, the new Commander of SNMCMG2, said that during his term the task force will operate in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in order to enhance NATO’s solidarity and readiness in these regions. Besides NATO and non-NATO port visits, will participate in three exercises.

There is one odd thing about the whole thing, I couldn’t quite put my finger on: The duration of the command. Usually, the command of a NATO task force is rotated annually or semi-annually at best. This time Turkey is taking the command for 56 days. Not even two full months. Why was it necessary to take the helm for such a short time and what is the reason behind this unusual short duration of the command.

It was 2016 when the last time when Turkish Navy was in Command of SNMCMG-2.

Nusret 2020 Mine Warfare Exercise

While searching for the training mine Spanish mine hunter ESPS Duero found this old English mine from World War 1.

Nusret 2020 mine countermeasures exercise will end tomorrow.

Nusret is an annual invitation exercise focusing on mine warfare. The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Turkey and allied and friendly nations navies.

This year NATO Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), Romanian mine hunter hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu, 2 EOD teams from Romania and the USA took part in the exercise along with one command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, 6 mine hunters, one helicopter, one EOD team, one UAV team and one photography team from Turkish Navy, two boats from Turkish Coast Guard, two sorties of F-16 fighter jets, one C-130 airplane from Turkish Air Forces.

The first phase included force integration and harbor training. During the second phase, a command post-exercise was held and mine-laying operations from airborne and seaborne platforms were conducted. In the third phase, the laid training mines were detected by the participating units. Later the mines were identified and neutralized by mine clearance divers or remotely operated vehicles. Autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed for detection and identification. While conducting mine countermeasures operations the minehunters had to defend themselves against the threat of the asymmetrical surface vessels and air attacks. 

The below is the list of the participating warships:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
M-645 FS Orion Minehunter France SNMCMG-2
5556 ITS Alghero Minehunter Italy SNMCMG-2
M-35 ESPS Duero Minehunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-261 TCG Edremit Minehunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
32 BNS Tsibar Minehunter Bulgaria  
274 ROS Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu Minesweeper Romania  
M-260 TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey  
M-26 TCG Erdek Minehunter Turkey  
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey  
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Minehunter Turkey  
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey  
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey  
L-403 TCG Sancaktar Landing ship Turkey  
F-242 TCG Turgutreis Frigate Turkey  
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol boat Turkey  

For Further Reading:

Nusret 2019
Nusret 2018
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010
Nusret 2009

Doğu Akdeniz Naval Exercise 2019

Doğu Akdeniz 2019 -Eastern Mediterranean- naval exercise has started in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The biannual exercise is organized by the Turkish Navy will be held between 9 and 20 November 2019. This year 16 nations are taking part in this exercise by various means. Some are sending observers (Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico) some are sending ships, airplanes, and units (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Canada, Pakistan, Romania, Jordan, USA, and Greece)

According to the press releases, 4700 personnel, 44 ships and submarines participating in this exercise.

Furthermore, the following institutions are taking part in the exercise:

  1. Turkish Land Forces Command with attack and transport helicopters.
  2. Turkish Air Force Command with fighter planes, airborne warning and control planes, and CBRN defense team.
  3. Gendarmerie General Command with search and rescue teams.
  4. Coast Guard Command with one OPV and various small vessels.
  5. Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Transport, Maritime and Communications Ministry, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, and Turkish Red Crescent

An important part of the exercise will be the attempts to provide coastal safety during disasters by means of disaster and emergency operations, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and air sanitary evacuation procedures.

The most noteworthy aspect of the exercise is the fact that countries such as Greece and Italy are taking part in this exercise, although they are in a power struggle regarding the natural resources below the Eastern Mediterranean.

Here is the list of the participating units as far as I could find it. The list of foreign participants is complete but the names of 13 Turkish naval assets are missing.

Number Name Type Nation Fleet
42 BGS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
S-532 ITS Prini Submarine Italy
260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Frigate Romania
A-5329 ITS Vesuvio Auxilliary Italy SNMCMG-2
M-268 TCG Amasra Mine hunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
M-32 ESPS Sella Mine hunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-5557 ITS Numana Mine hunter Italy SNMCMG-2
330 HMCS Halifax Frigate Canada SNMG-2
A-14 ESPS Patino Auxilliary Spain SNMG-2
F-103 ESPS Blas de Lezo Frigate Spain SNMG-2
F-459 HS Adrias Frigate Greece SNMG-2
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey SNMG-2
A-543 TCG Işın Auxilliary Turkey
A-580 TCG Akar Auxilliary Turkey
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey
F-490 TCG Gaziantep Frigate Turkey
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey
F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate Turkey
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-500 TCG Bozcaada Corvette Turkey
F-501 TCG Bodrum Corvette Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar Amphibious Turkey
L-403 TCG Sancaktar Amphibious Turkey
M-265 TCG Alanya Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
P-334 TCG Rüzgar Fast attack Turkey
S-353 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey

Nusret 2019 Mine Warfare Exercise

From left to right: TCG Akçakoca, TCG Akçay, TCG Ayvalık participated in Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise.

Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise will end tomorrow.

Nusret is an annual invitation exercise focusing mine warfare. The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Turkey and allied and friendly nations navies.

This year 64 Observers and 5 staff officers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Malesia, Pakistan Qatar; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Romania attended the event. The presence of an officer from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a first. It is a counter jest to the invitation of the Greek Cypriot Administration to a NATO Event, even though the Greek Cypriot Administration is not a member of the organization

NATO Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), Romanian hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu, 3 EOD teams from Belgium, Romania and USA took part in the exercise along with one command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, 6 mine hunters, one helicopter, one EOD team, one UAV team and one photography team from Turkish Navy, two boats from Turkish Coast Guard, two sorties of F-16 fighter jets, one C-130 airplane from Turkish Air Forces.

The exercise was divided into four phases. The first phase included force integration and harbor training. During the second phase, a command post-exercise was held and mine-laying operations from airborne and seaborne platforms were conducted. In the third phase, the laid training mines were detected by the participating units. Later the mines were identified and neutralized by mine clearance divers or remotely operated vehicles. Autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed for detection and identification. While conducting mine countermeasures operations the minehunters had to defend themselves against the threat of the asymmetrical surface vessels and air attacks. The last phase was a port visit in Çanakkale with some social and cultural activities

The below is the list of the participating warships:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
A-5329 ITS Vesuvio Tanker Italy SNMCMG-2
M-266 TCG Amasra Minehunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
5557 ITS Numana Minehunter Italy SNMCMG-2
M-32 ESPS Sella Minehunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-62 HS Kallisto Minehunter Greece SNMCMG-2
ROS Cătuneanu Hydrographic Research Romania
M-260 TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Minehunter Turkey
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Minehunter Turkey
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar Landing ship Turkey
F-513 TCG Burgazada Corvette Turkey
P-1210 TCG Türkeli Patrol boat Turkey

For Further Reading:
Nusret 2018
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010
Nusret 2009

The SNMG-2 Is Back In Istanbul

The flagship of the SNMG-2 HMNLS Eversten in Istanbul.

Turkish contribution to SNMG-2, TCG Yıldırım in Istanbul after sailing the Black Sea for 21 days.

On 29 March four ships of NATO Standing Maritime Force 2 transited northbound through Turkish Straits and entered the Black Sea.

This was the start of the task force’s first Black Sea deployment in 2019.

The French National Marine contribution to the SNMG-2 FS Var also arrived in Istanbul but she did not proceed to the Black Sea with the rest of the group. She remained in the city for a 4-day port visit and later returned to France as her deployment with the task force was over.

Once in the Black Sea Bulgarian frigate, Drazki and Romanian frigate Regele Ferdinand joined the task force before SNMG-2 split in two.

The Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto and the Spanish frigate ESPS Santa Maria sailed to Odessa, Ukraine. According to NATO press release, while in Odesa, the ship captains meet with local military and elected officials, worked with Ukrainian Navy personnel and welcomed local Ukrainian civilians aboard during scheduled open ship periods.

The Canadian and Spanish frigates conducted PASSEX with Ukrainian Matka class (Project 206 MP) corvette Priluki. This exercise was dutifully observed by the Russian intelligence-gathering ship Ivan Khurs.

Turkish town Trabzon was the first stop for the remaining four ships of the task force namely HMNLS Eversten the flagship, TCG Yıldırım, BGS Drazki, and ROS Regele Ferdinand. Following a short 3-day visit, they have sailed to Poti Georgia. Like in Ukraine, following the visit to Poti, SNMG-2 ships conducted a Passing Exercise with the Georgian Coast Guard vessels.

The task force joined in Romanian port Constanta prior to the start of the largest multinational naval exercise in Romania’s territorial waters and in the international waters of the Black Sea: Sea Shield 2019. The Spanish frigate left the taskforce and exited the Black Sea before the task force’s arrival in Romania.

In addition to the ships of SNMG-2, the Greek fast attack craft HS Ritsos, Bulgarian corvette BGS Bodri, and Romanian frigate ROS Marasesti, corvettes ROS Contraamiral Macellariu, ROS Contraamiral Horia Macellariu, missile-carrying fast attack craft ROS Pescarusul, ROS Zborul, minesweepers ROS Lieutenant Lupu Dinescu, ROS Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu also took part, along with Romanian detachment of EOD divers, two mobile anti-ship missile launchers and other support units.

According to the Romanian Defence Ministry approximately 2,200 troops, took part in the exercise who practiced against underwater, surface and air threats, adapted to the typology of security threats in the Black Sea region. The scenario of the exercise was fictional and aimed planning and execution of crisis response operations under the mandate of Security Council resolutions of the United Nations (UNSC), in the context of a security environment characterized by symmetrical and asymmetrical threats.

SNMG-2 exited the Black Sea on 17th April and arrived in Istanbul for a well-deserved port visit. HMNLS Eversten and TCG Yıldırım berthed while HMCS Toronto sailed to the Mediterranean without stopping in the city.

French replenishment tanker FS Var. She arrived in Istanbul with the rest of the task force but did not enter the Black Sea.

Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto. This photo was taken when she was passing through Istanbul. She spent 21 days in the Black Sea and left it sailing directly to the Mediterranean.

This is Spanish frigate ESPS Santa Maria passing northbound through Istanbul. She stayed only 7 days in the Black Sea before exiting it while the rest took part in the Sea Shield naval exercise.

Dynamic Manta 2019 Has Started

The participating warships and submarine in one photo. Original photo: Turkish Ministry of Defence, improvements by me.

NATO’s Submarine Warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2019 kicked off yesterday, off the Sicilian coast, with ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from 10 Allied nations.

According to NATO press release submarines surface units and ASW planes and helicopters from Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and USA, under the control of Commander, Submarines NATO (COMSUBNATO) taking part in the annual exercise.

Altogether 4 submarines, 9 ships, and ASW planes and helicopters will try to hone their skill in anti-submarine warfare.

The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, with due regard for safety.

Below is the complete list of the participants:

Number Name Type Country
333 Toronto Frigate Canada
D-654 Auvergne Frigate France
A-608 Var Tanker France
F-450 Elli Frigate Greece
S-120 Papanikolis Submarine Greece
F-594 Alpino Frigate Italy
S-527 Scire Submarine Italy
F-805 Evertsen Frigate Netherlands
F-103 Blas de Laze Frigate Spain
F-81 Santa Marina Frigate Spain
S-74 Tramontana Submarine Spain
S-357 Gür Submarine Turkey
F-493 Gelibolu Frigate Turkey

Nusret 2018 Mine Warfare Exercise

The Bulgarian mine hunter BNG Tsibar, seen here passing southbound through Istanbul on 10th October 2018 takes part in Nusret 2018 MCM exercise.

The Romanian hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu is participating to the Nusret 2018 exercise too. Here is she seen passing through Istanbul on 13th October.

Mine warfare exercise Nusret 2018 has started in İzmir today. The exercise led by the Turkish Navy aims to provide training for the planning and execution of mine warfare and to improve the interoperability in mine warfare, between warships from participant countries.

The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

This year 18 surface units including 4 Aydın class minehunters, 3 Edincik class minehunters, one minelayer, one corvette and one patrol boat from Turkish Navy, Standing Nato Mine Warfare Group 2 (SNMCMG-2) and Romanian hydrographic research ship are participating in the exercise. A detailed list of the participating units is at the bottom of this post.

One Turkish and one Romanian autonomous underwater vehicles teams and one Greek and one Romanian underwater explosive ordnance disposal units are also taking part in Nusret 2018.

The exercise has 3 phases. The first phase is the assembly of the participating units in the Port of İzmir. Followed by mine laying operation from one Turkish C-130 cargo plane and L-402 TCG Bayraktar. This phase is followed by active mine hunting warfare operations. The last phase will be a Photex of the participants and social and cultural activates among the crews to foster cooperation and mutual understanding.

Number Name Type Country
32 BGS Tsibar Minehunter Bulgaria
M-645 FS Orion Minehunter France
A-513 FGS Rhein Auxillary Germany
M-62 HS Evropi Minehunter Greece
5555 ITS Termoli Minehunter Italy
ROS Catuneanu Hydrographic Vessel Romania
M-34 ESPS Turia Minehunter Spain
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
L-401 TCG Bayraktar Minelayer / LST Turkey
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey
M-20X TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Minehunter Turkey
M-263 TCG Erdek Minehunter Turkey
M-265 TCG Alanya Minehunter Turkey
M-266 TCG Amasra Minehunter Turkey
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
P-1206 TCG Karşıyaka Patrol boat Turkey

For further reading:
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010

The Participants of Mavi Balina 2018 Naval Exercise

TCG Bandırma (left) and TCG Gemlik (right) receiving fuel underway from replenishment ship TCG Akar. Photo: Turkish Navy

Mavi Balina (Blue Whale) 2018 invitation naval exercise is going to end today with a post-exercise briefing in Aksanz Naval Base in Marmaris.

Mavi Balina is a biannual anti-submarine warfare exercise where the participating units had the opportunity to increase their readiness for actual submarine warfare operations.

Here is a list of the surface units took part in the exercise:

Number Name Type Country
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate Turkey
F-490 TCG Gaziantep Frigate Turkey
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-502 TCG Bandırma Corvette Turkey
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
P-1204 TCG Tarsus Patrol Boat Turkey
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
F-804 HNLMS De Ruyter Frigate Netherlands
F-105 ESPS Cristobal Colon Frigate Spain
F-253 PNS Saif Frigate Pakistan
F-211 ROS Regele Ferdinand Frigate Romania
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