The Mediterranean Odyssey of TCG Heybeliada (Part 2)

The Turkish corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada arrived in La Goulette Tunisia today after finishing her visit in Algeria.

TCG Heybeliada will stay in Tunisia till 6 July 2013.

According to the Algerian news portals the visit of TCG Heybeliada was within the framework of military cooperation between to nations.

Within the framework of military cooperation between Algeria and Turkey, the Turkish corvette TCG Heybeliada docked yesterday at the port of Algiers, during a stopover to spread until July 2.Entered service in September 2011, the vessel in question, 99 meters long, has a crew of 93 men between sailors and officers, and has its board a helicopter, as well as a mini-track aterrissage if we rely on the data sheet provided to reporters on his landing.   
weapons side, the corvette has eight anti-ship missiles Integred Defense Systems Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon, a launcher Mk.49 for Mod.3 21 missiles and a vertical surface to air launcher Raytheon RIM-162 ESSM Rolling Airframe Missile Block 1A missiles. 
TCG Heybeliada is also equipped with a retractable 76 mm gun, torpedoes, four 324 mm guns and two 12 , 7 mm. For electronic equipment, a three-dimensional naval surveillance radar and air surface Haselsan combat system and radar navigation round a table already well stocked with, among others, a hull sonar system and anti-torpedo decoy launching said “Sea Sentor SSTD.” 
When he arrived in Algiers, the crew of the corvette, led by Commander Bulent Bustano was received by the Commander of the Maritime Front Centre, General Mohamed Guelmami, pending the organization of a military exercises with the Algerian Navy.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday on board the ship, Colonel Yasar Camur is said to be “convinced” that he is beautiful “opportunities” in the fields of defense, security and the military industry to further strengthen relations between the two countries, the rest qualified “excellent” and said an agreement was signed between the two countries in September 2013. 

“The Turkish naval forces are prepared for possible exchange of experiences with our Algerian friends, as we participate in exercises and other military operations,” he said, recalling that in the wake of the relations between Algeria and Turkey are “old”.”We are Turks and Algerians, the descendants of Barbarossa,” he said not without observing that the fleets of the two countries often bear common names.  

The emphasize on the last paragraph is mine.

Here is a short video of TCG Heybeliada arriving in Algiers.

NATO Task Force In Tunisia

The commander of SNMCMG-2, Capt. Abdülhamit Şener during the press conference. Photo:

As reported earlier this week the NATO’s Standing Mine Counter Measures Group 2 started a 5 day port visit in La Goulette, Tunisia on 9th February.

The task force’s commander Captain Abdülhamit Şener from Turkish Navy hosted a press conference for the Tunisian media on board of his flagship A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa.

After conducting a training exercise with Tunisian Navy the task force will proceed first to Algeria, later to Morocco.

Captain Abdulhamit Sener, an officer in the Turkish Navy and leader of the group, conveyed today in a press conference held on board the Turkish flagship “Mehmetpasa” that mines are a danger to the whole world, given that 45% of transportation operations worldwide happen through the sea.

“And we still have mines left from WWII,” he added. The multinational force conducts regular operations in the Mediterranean to destroy old mines.

The minesweeping process of the fleet includes 3 main steps: localization and classification, identification, and finally neutralization. This year’s group is made of allied forces from the Turkish, Italian, Spanish and British Navies.

Abdulhamit Sener made clear that this annual visit “does not have any political implications.”

Asked about the reasons for this visit to Tunisia, just when the situation in the Arab world is not stable, Abdulhamit Sener replies: “Our visit has been scheduled since last year. We are here as part of cooperation and dialogue with Tunisia. We will conduct an exercise scenario with two oil Tunisian next Monday off the coast of Tunisia. ” This exercise is to train ships to avoid the mines at sea. The five minesweepers, which dropped anchor at the port of La Goulette have on board nearly 300 sailors. 

The ship’s captain said that during the missions of the group, sometimes the frigate still mines dating from World War II “But we have not found any during our visit in Tunisia,” he said before He added: “Moreover, we no longer find mine recent Mediterranean … But there are threats of mines both in the Mediterranean and around the world.” 

Asked about the political significance of this trip, the ship’s commander denies any involvement in political affairs, but said that NATO has long been courteous relations with Tunisia and that intentions are more technical “and pacifists “, as is the case of the exercise scheduled next Monday. It should be remembered that Tunisia is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue of NATO since 1994. The ship’s captain also adds, that vessels are dependent have not participated in the military mission that took place last year against the Gaddafi regime in Libya.  

NATO Minehunters Arrive In Tunisia

M-268 TCG Akçakoca.

NATO’s Standing Mine Counter Measures Group 2 will start a 5 day port visit in La Goulette, Tunisia today.

Captain Abdulhamit Sener from the Turkish Navy is leading the SNMCMG2, and will also chair a press conference scheduled for Friday, February 10th, on board the flagship “Mehmetpasa.”

The mission of this NATO group is to protect shipping lanes against the threat of sub-surface mines. Their secondary mission is to conduct scientific research about the Tunisian marine environment.

This visit will provide the NATO crew with an opportunity to communicate the nature of their activities to Tunisian authorities and visit historical and cultural sites of Tunis and its suburbs as well.

The relations between Tunisia and NATO date back to 1994, when Tunisia joined the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue – a forum of cooperation between NATO and seven non-NATO countries on the Mediterranean. The forum aims at “contributing to regional security and stability, achieving better mutual understanding and dispelling any misconceptions about NATO among dialogue countries,” according to the mission statement posted on NATO’s website.

This is the current composition of SNMCMG-2:

A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Turkey Flagship
M-268 TCG Akcakoca Turkey Minehunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Minehunter
5556 ITS Alghero Italy Minehunter
M-30 HMS Ledbury UK Minehunter
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