SNMCMG2 Gets New German Commander

SNMCMG2 Gets New German Commander

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) has a new German Commander. Captain Marco Von Koelln (German Navy) handed over command of SNMCMG2 to Commander Mathias Seipel (German Navy) on Monday, 24 June 2013.

The ceremony took place at the Hellenic Naval Base in Souda Bay, Crete, and was presided over by Rear Admiral Robert Kamensky, Deputy Chief of Staff of Submarines for NATO Maritime Command.

SNMCMG2 is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and is the Alliance’s second mine countermeasures group. Although the Group has traditionally been operating on Europe’s southern flank, it can be deployed anywhere in the world. SNMCMG2’s mission is to provide continuous and far-reaching maritime mine countermeasures capability for operations in peacetime and periods of conflict. The group is therefore engaged in search and disposal operations within NATO but also with NATO partners (Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative).

“Because mines are easily produced and inconspicuous, they have the ability to bring everything to a halt, be it maritime shipping or military operations,” said Rear Admiral Kamensky. “Mine Countermeasures Groups are therefore a pivotal capability for NATO and its partners. These Groups and the units composing them have been securing our maritime approaches for more than 40 years. They are as relevant today as they were at the time of their creation.”

Commander Seipel will command the Group for the next six months on board the flagship FGS MOSEL, carrying out NATO’s ongoing mission to rid the seas from the threat of mines, whether historical or modern.

Press Release, June 27, 2013; Image: NATO ACO