NATO minehunters visit Algeria

Ships from NATO’s Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) completed a port visit to Algiers, Algeria on October 20.

The crews of the ships participated in multiple activities ashore and after getting underway on Thursday, all four NATO ships participated in drills with Algerian naval forces to practice working together and enhance mutual understanding.

The deputy commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier (French Navy) met with the deputy chief of Algerian naval forces, Major General Mahfoud Benmeddah and other Navy officials. The leaders discussed opportunities for Algerian naval forces to work with NATO in a variety of tactical and operational level activities.

SNMCMG2 is commanded by captain Panagiotis Papageorgiou, Hellenic Navy, aboard the flagship, HS Aliakmon. Apart the flagship the group is composed by two other minehunters, FGS Fulda and TCG Amasra. While not part of the group, Spanish Navy patrol boat ESPS Infanta Cristina is currently sailing with the ships from SNMCMG2.

SNMCMG2 is part of the NATO Response Force, which can be deployed where the alliance requires. They train and work together throughout the year and participate in exercises conducted by the Alliance and other member nations. SNMCMG2’s main task is to defend maritime passages from the threat of mines. In addition, the group is responsible for historic ordnance disposal operations contributing to make allied and partners nation waters safe and improve maritime security.