More ships for NATO’s Aegean mission

French patrol ship FS Commandant Bouan joined NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) in the Aegean Sea last week.

Commandant Bouan is the second ship to reinforce the mission against human traffickers as the Dutch frigate HNLMS Van Amstel sailed for the Aegean on March 10.

SNMG2 is conducting reconnaissance and monitoring activities in the Aegean Sea in support of Turkey and Greece, and European Union border agency FRONTEX’s cooperative efforts to tackle human trafficking and criminal networks.

Commandant Bouan is a D’Estienne d’Orves-class ship capable of conducting maritime surveillance and rescue operations. It is 80 meters long and crewed by 80 personnel.

Rear Admiral Jörg Klein, Commander SNMG2, said: “I am glad to have new units added to my multinational force. We will bring the joining ships onto task as quickly as possible to support the local authorities and FRONTEX to deal with the migrant and refugee crisis.”

Apart from the three new additions to the group, SNMG2 also consists of the German flagship FGS Bonn, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton, the Hellenic frigate HS Salamis, the British landing ship dock (auxiliary) RFA Mounts Bay and the Turkish frigate TCG Gokova, which has replaced the TCG Barbaros.