February 18, 2019 (Google Translation) – The “Tajo” cazaminas (M-36) of the Spanish Navy has left the sea this morning from its base port in Cartagena towards Catania (Italy), to join the Permanent Grouping of Measures Against Mines No. 2 (SNMCMG- 2, for its acronym in English) of NATO in the Mediterranean. This grouping is made up of ships belonging to different member countries of the Alliance. The vessel is expected to remain integrated for the next three months. In addition, the “Tagus” will support other international missions, such as the NATO operation “Sea Guardian” to fight terrorism, and the operation of the European Union “Sophia” against the mafias of the illegal trafficking of people, both in Mediterranean waters.
The farewell ceremony was presided by the Commander of the 1st Squadron of Cazaminas, captain of frigate Carlos Múgica Ruiz, in the Poniente dock of the Arsenal of Cartagena, and it has been developed following the traditions and the maritime ceremonial of the Navy.
During its deployment, the vessel plans to participate in four international exercises and stop at eleven foreign ports, showing Spain’s commitment to collective defense and shared security.
In the last year, the endowment of the “Tajo” cazaminas has completed a series of intense training and preparation activities, having surpassed its operative qualification to operate in high intensity scenarios.
The SNMCMG-2 is one of the 4 maritime components of the NATO immediate response Force. These groups allow NATO to have a permanent maritime capacity to act in the face of a possible crisis or conflict. In addition, they also have a presence in the maritime areas of interest and with their activities in the framework of cooperative security, they demonstrate the cohesion and determination of the Alliance.
During the period in which the vessel will be integrated into this structure, it will have the mission of guaranteeing freedom of action and navigation through the hunting of mines or explosive devices and the monitoring of seabeds from the entrances of some ports of countries bordering the Mediterranean. Likewise, he will be ready to react and act in case of crisis in those scenarios that require it.
The naval mine is a weapon fully in force today and low cost. Due to its effects, it can cause serious distortion to maritime traffic, preventing access to the coast and denying the necessary freedom of action to carry out any type of maritime operation. At present, there are still mines anchored from past conflicts.