SNMG2: 2nd half 2015 in review
German Navy frigate FGS Hamburg entered her homeport in Wilhelmshaven, Germany on December 20 thereby concluding her duty as flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG2) during the second half of 2015.
On June 25, Rear Admiral Jörg Klein (German Navy) assumed command of SNMG2 in Kiel, Germany and the German frigate FGS Hamburg took over the role as flagship SNMG2. On July 15, the ship pulled into the port of Palma de Mallorca, and the reassembly of the force began.
Canadian and Spanish ships joined the group in Palma, and during the remaining months, eight additional units from Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the USA served under the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 flag.
The Group supported three large multinational NATO exercises: Dynamic Guard which took place off the Spanish Atlantic coast, Dynamic Manta in the Western Mediterranean Sea and NATO’s biggest exercise in more than a decade, Trident Juncture 2015.
In addition to the NATO exercises, the Group participated in a number of nationally-led exercises with the Hellenic, Israeli, Tunisian and Turkish Navies. During several exercise scenarios, different nations provided fighter aircraft and patrol aircraft for the best possible training benefit. In Souda on the island of Crete, groups of the ships’ company also participated in an ashore training at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre.
SNMG2 also provided contributions to NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation Active Endeavour, patrolling and monitoring the sea traffic and checking suspicious merchant vessels.
The final port visit came December 7 in Haifa, Israel, before the SNMG2 ships FGS Hamburg and HDMS Absalon set sail towards their homeports. Upon arrival in Wilhelmshaven, the SNMG2 flagship Hamburg finished a tour of 31.500 nautical miles (58.000km).
In January 2016, Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 under the command of Rear Admiral Jörg Klein will return to the Mediterranean with a new flagship, the German combat support ship FGS Bonn.