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


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:

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.


M-261 TCG Edremit


62 BGS Shkval


NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 Conducts Training In Marmara Sea


Spanish mine hunter ESPS Tambre (left) and the Bulgarian mine sweeper BGS Shkval (right). Photo: SNMCMG-2


The flagship of the task force TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa. Photo: SNMCMG-2

The task force has started its recent activities in Turkish naval base in Erdek, Balıkesir in early January. Erdek is the home port of the Turkish mine hunter ships. TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa replaced her sister TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa as the flagship of the task force. Following this change the task force sailed to the Aegean Sea to conduct a port visit in İzmir and some training activities in Saros Bay in Northern Aegean.

The ships of NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 passed through Çanakkale Strait on 27 January 2015 and entered Marmara Sea. Later in this month the task force will sail through Istanbul Strait and enter the Black Sea to participate in Bulgarian mine counter measures exercise Poseidon between 20 and 27 February 2016.

TCG Edremit Joins NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2


M-262 TCG Enez, sister ship to TCG Edremit. Photo: Devrim Yaylalı

The Engin class mine hunter, M-261 TCG Edremit has joined NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2. She will remain deployed till 24 April 2016. and will spend 72 days on sailing.

SNMCMG-2, under the Command of Turkish Navy, made a port visit to Izmir between 15 and 17 January 2015. The other port visits planed for SNMCMG-2 will be in Çanakkale, Erdek, İstanbul, Burgas, Batumi, Patras, Koper, Bar, Split, Venice, Bari and Toronto.

Between 20 and 27 February 2016, SNMCMG-2 will take part in Poseidon Naval Exercise organised by Bulgarian Navy. The task force will also take part in Exercise Ariadne, organised by Greek Navy between 4 and 13 March 2015.

This is the current composition of SNMCMG-2:

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

SNMCMG-2 In Montenegro


Turkish and Montenegrin divers before Turkish mine hunter TCG Akçakoca before an underwater ship inspection. Photo: WO ARTIGUES of HQ MARCOM

The Turkish led NATO mine warfare task force Standing NATO MCM Group 2 is continuing its presence in the Adriatic Sea.

Last week the ships of the task force made passing exercise with the Croatian Naval units LM-51 HRVS Korcula,  RTOP-42 HRVS Dubrovnik and RTOP-21 HRVS Sibenik and visited Spit port.

The task force is now in Bar, Montenegro and is conducting small scaled joint exercises to enhance interoperability with the Montenegrin Navy through shared training activities,

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

SNMCMG-2 Deployed To Bulgaria


F-244 TCG Barbaros. The flag ship of SNMCMG-2 heading to Bulgaria.


F-244 TCG Barbaros. The flag ship of SNMCMG-2 heading to Bulgaria.


Her legacy Mk-29 pepper box SeaSparrow launcher is replaced with Mk41 8 cell VLS. Her original AWS-9 radar is also replaced with SMART-S Mk2 radar. The later is easier to maintain and faster to repair.




TCG Enez is the Turkish mine hunter is SNMCMG-2.

Since 2 July 2015, Turkish Navy is commanding NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two SNMCMG-2. The first action of the group was to deploy to Bulgaria for the Bulgarian led naval exercise Breeze 2015.

The Change of Command Ceremony took place in Erdek Naval Base. According to official NATO Marine Command page, the two Turkish ship are the SNMCMG-2. The Spanish mine hunter M-36 ESPS Tajo was in Erdek and deployed to Bulgaria but she is not listed as part of the task force anymore.

The Standing Maritime Groups are the backbone and the kernel of NATO’s Maritime Response Forces providing NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities,” said MARCOM Deputy Chief of Staff Operations Commodore Arien Minderhoud. “NATO remains as ever fully committed to the defense of its member nations. I am sure Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 will continue to remain as a visible assurance of NATO’s unity, cohesion and resolve.”

“I am proud to hand over to my Turkish colleague SNMCMG2 that is ready for all naval tasks from mine warfare to more challenging operations” said Capt. Giovanni Piegaja. “I am sure we have completed our mission satisfactorily and contributed to NATO’s presence at sea by enhancing maritime security and assuring Allies of NATO’s solidarity and commitment to collective defence.”

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group TWO (SNMCMG2), will continue its deployment by conducting various types of mine warfare trainings and exercises with navies as well as engaging in NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

“My staff and I have well prepared and ready for the tasks ahead. Likewise I am confident that the units in my group are highly professional and motivated” said Capt. Ramazan Kesgin, Commander SNMCMG2 “I am certain we all will do our best to fulfil the expectations of our NATO Allies and tackle the challenges lying ahead of us wherever they are.

This the third time for Turkish Navy to command SNMCMG-2. The previous commands were between May 2001 – May 2002 by Captain Niyazi Şenol, June 2006 – June 2007 by Captain ErtuğŸrul Göktunalı and between July 2011 and July 2012 by Abdülhamit Şener.

I wish Captain Ramazan Kesgin and his crew friendly seas, following seas and much success.

Turkish Navy To Take The Helm Of SNMCMG-2


TCG Barboros, will be the flag ship of SNMCMG-2 for the next couple of months.

Turkish Navy will take the command of NATO Standing Maritime Mine Counter Measures Group-2 on 2 July 2015.

The hand over ceremony will be held in Erdek Naval base, the home port of Turkish mine warfare ships.

The MEKO 200 class frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros will be the flag ship of the Captain Ramazan Kesgin. The task force will consists of the Spanish mine hunter M-36 ESPS Tajo and Turkish mine hunter M-262 TCG Enez.

TCG Enez In Italian Minex 2015


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

Joint Warrior 2015-1 Naval Component



Monsieur Louis, Martin-Vézian from Contemporary Issues & Geography (CIGeography) prepare this wonderful picture where you can visualize easily all nations and all warships taking part in Joint Warrior 2015-1 exercise.

According to media sources there are 55 warships taking part in Joint Warrior 2015. The below list has 55 of them.


Thanks to:

Sjoforsvaret, for reminding me about HNOMS Thor Heyerdahl,

Herr Thomas Wiegold, for information on Germany Navy,

Mister Nils K Haugen for correcting the name of HNOMS Skjold.

Any further corrections and additions are always welcome.

Number Name Type Nationality
F930 BNS Leopold I Frigate Belgium
M921 BNS Lobelia Mine hunter Belgium
337 HMCS Frederıcton Frigate Canada
F357 HDMS Thetis Frigate Denmark
F362 HDMS Peter Willemoes Frigate Denmark
F363 HDMS Niels Juel Frigate Denmark
L16 HDMS Absalon Frigate Denmark
A630 FS Marne Auxiliary France
D 644 FS Primauguet Destroyer France
M642 FS Cassiopee Mine hunter France
A1442 FGS Spessart Auxiliary Germany
A514 FGS Werra Auxiliary Germany
A516 FGS Donau Auxiliary Germany
M614 FS Styx Mine hunter France
M1093 FGS Auerbach Mine hunter Germany
P6122 FGS Puma Fast Attack Craft Germany
P6123 FGS Hermerlin Fast Attack Craft Germany
P6125 FGS Zobel Fast Attack Craft Germany
P6126 FGS Frettchen Fast Attack Craft Germany
P6129 FGS Wiesel Fast Attack Craft Germany
P6130 FGS Hyäne Fast Attack Craft Germany
F575 ITS Euro Frigate Italy
F802 HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën Frigate Netherlands
M1063 FGS Bad Bevensen Mine hunter Germany
M857 HNLMS Makkum Mine hunter Netherlands
P843 HNLMS Groningen Patrol Netherlands
S802 HNLMS Walrus Submarine Netherlands
A535 HNOMS Valkyrien Auxiliary Norway
F314 HNOMS Thor Heyerdahl Frigate Norway
M864 HNLMS Willemstad Mine hunter Netherlands
P960 HNOMS Skjold Corvette Norway
P963 HNOMS Skudd Corvette Norway
S303 HNOMS Utvaer Submarine Norway
M352 HNOMS Rauma Mine hunter Norway
F331 NRP Álvares Cabral Frigate Portugal
F104 SPS Méndez Núñez Frigate Spain
F496 TCG Gökova Frigate Turkey
F497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
623 ORP Mewa Mine hunter Poland
S359 TCG Burakreis Submarine Turkey
A135 RFA Argus Landing ship UK
F82 HMS Somerset Frigate UK
L12 HMS Ocean Landing ship UK
L3007 RFA Lyme Bay Landing ship UK
M269 TCG Anamur Mine hunter Turkey
M109 HMS Bangor Mine hunter UK
M33 HMS Brocklesby Mine hunter UK
M108 HMS Grimsby Mine hunter UK
M39 HMS Hurworth Mine hunter UK
S120 HMS Ambush Submarine UK
13 USNS Medgar Evers Auxiliary USA
68 USS Anzio Cruiser USA
69 USS Vicksburg Cruiser USA
75 USS Donald Cook Destroyer USA
78 USS Porter Destroyer USA
M107 HMS Pembroke Mine hunter UK
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