Hellenic Navy, NATO Group Ships Join Forces in Mine Warfare
Standing NATO Mine-Countermeasures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) just concluded its participation in the Greek Mine Warfare exercise ARIADNE13 in vicinity of Patras, Greece, after one week at sea.
SNMCMG2 units FGS MOSEL (the Group’s flagship), FGS ROTTWEIL and TCG ERDEMLI, teamed up with the Greek frigate and flagship for the exercise HS ADRIAS, the patrol boat HS MACHITIS and the minesweeper HS EVROPI while taking part in this annual training.
After two days in port conducting the “harbour phase” of the exercise, the units left Patras in the morning of the 6th of November and proceeded to the exercise area. The first day was dedicated to seamanship training and force integration. The units conducted several manoeuvring and communication exercises. The mine hunters were tasked to conduct naval mine warfare operations, and had to adapt to incidents and events created by the exercise control team to make the exercise more challenging. The units and their mine clearance divers proved to be well prepared and able to defend themselves against incoming threats. Mine Hunters FGS ROTTWEIL and TCG ERDEMLI met all their objectives since they found all the mines placed in their respective areas, including two Manta mines.
HS ADRIAS’s SeaHawk helicopter also took part in the exercise to exert an asymmetric threat on participating units. All flight operations were particularly beneficial for SNMCMG2 ships and crews, as it was the first time in this deployment that they had an opportunity to work with air units in an exercise. The helicopter performed several landings on FGS MOSEL’s deck while SNMCMG2’s flagship was simulating a diving accident with FGS ROTTWEIL.
“The exercise was well-organised and the programme provided realistic challenges, especially with regards to the kind of threats which can be expected from fast, small boats or conventional air assets attacking from a low altitude,” said Commander Matthias Seipel who currently leads SNMCMG2, upon concluding his Group’s participation in the exercise.
The next step for SNMCMG2 units will be the preparation for the Turkish exercise NUSRET 13, in which the Group will participate in a few days.
Press Release, November 14, 2013; Image: NATO ACO