Spanish ‘Blas de Lezo’ Begins Second Phase of Commanding SNMG-2
Spanish frigate ‘Blas de Lezo’ left the Military Arsenal of Ferrol to begin the second phase of her deployment as command ship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2).
The Spanish Navy warship had previously departed Ferrol on June 4th to integrate into this Standing Escorts Group in the Mediterranean. The frigate is the flagship of the SNMG-2 and accommodates the international Staff under the command of Rear-Admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río. On August 4th the ship returned to her home port for a scheduled period of systems maintenance and crew rest.
On Saturday the frigate called at Malaga where she was joined by the other warships of the Task Group, the ‘Salihreis’ from Turkey and the ‘Sachsen’ from Germany, to continue with the scheduled operational program.
After a series of exercises with Spanish Navy units, the SNMG-2 will integrate once again into operation ‘Active Endeavour’ whose main goal is to deter possible terrorist organizations from using the Mediterranean Sea for their illegal activities. The operation intends to improve awareness of the maritime domain and regularly carries out several maritime security tasks.
The SNMG-2 will also participate in the international exercise ‘Brilliant Mariner 2013’ organized by the Italian Navy, where the naval rapid reaction force of the Alliance will be put to a test.
In mid-October the F-100 frigate ‘Álvaro de Bazán’ will relieve the ‘Blas de Lezo’ as command ship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2).
Press Release, September 2, 2013; Image: Spanish Navy