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NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) recently completed exercises in the Black Sea with ships from the Romanian Navy.
SNMG2 is in the Black Sea to reassure allies in the region of the Alliance’s collective defence and to enhance NATO’s maritime force interoperability. Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), ITS Aliseo (F 574) and ROS Regina Maria (F 222).
SNMG2 units were joined by ROS Marasesti (F 111), ROS Axente (M 30), ROS Eugeniu Rosca (F 263), and ROS Eustatiu Sebatian (F 264). During the multinational exercise the ships practiced anti-air and anti-surface warfare tactics and procedures, as well as basic ship-handling maneuvers and communications drills. Some of the units conducted live fire gunnery exercises while others conducted a simulated air-defense exercise with Romanian fixed-wing MIG-21s. All exercises were designed to maximize operator and unit training, and to improve interoperability amongst the units.
"This exercise was a unique opportunity to work alongside our Romanian Allies," said Vicksburg Operations Officer Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Hamm. "Exercises like this give us a chance to strengthen our interoperability and ensure that we will be able to support any mission that NATO might require of us in the future."
SNMG2’s deployment to the Black Sea also included training exercises with the Turkish and Bulgarian Navies. The group will return to the Mediterranean later this month to resume patrols and contribute to NATO’s maritime situational awareness before beginning its next series of multinational exercises.