Spain’s Tambre and Turkey’s Edremit, assigned to Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group 2, docked in Batumi port, February 12, 2016. Photo: Georgian Interior Ministry
Four NATO ships, assigned to Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2), are making a port call in Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast on February 12-15.
The Turkish-led group includes Turkish Navy’s training ship Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa, which is SNMCMG2’s flagship; Turkey’s minehunter TCG Edremit; Spain’s minehunter ESPS Tambre; and Romania’s minesweeper Slt. Alexandru Axente.
Italian Navy’s minehunter, Gaeta, will join the group later and Chief of Staff of NATO Maritime Command, Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio, is expected to also arrive in Batumi on February 13.
SNMCMG2’s ships will conduct a “series of exercises at sea with the Georgian Coast Guard, enhancing their search and rescue, boarding, and tactical maneuvering skill sets,” according to the Allied Maritime Command.
Three ships from SNMCMG2 previously visited Batumi in September, 2013.
“This visit highlights the very positive partnership between the Alliance and Georgia, and builds upon SNMCMG2’s previous visit to Batumi,” said Chief of Staff of NATO Maritime Command Rear Admiral Lazio. “Opportunities such as this to exercise and work closely with the Georgian Coast Guard greatly enhance our interoperability between our forces, which can pay significant dividends in future cooperation in the maritime domain.”