From Monday 7 until March 19, in the waters off the island of Crete , the minesweeper Gaeta, a unit dependent on the Command of the Mine Countermeasures Forces (MARICODRAG), participated in ARIADNE 22 , a multinational exercise organized by the Greek navy as part of the mine countermeasures activities. The objective: to enhance the ability of allied navies to operate within a scenario with the presence of mines and multiple threats.
On 28 February in Augusta, the Gaeta ship, after completing an intense training, hoisted the NATO flag ashore, thus symbolizing its entry into the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 ( SNMCMG2 ), NATO’s permanent rapid response group aimed at to ensure the safety of navigation against the threat of mines.
During the transfer navigation towards the training area, with the Spanish units Meteoro and Sella and the German unit Bad Rapennau , the crew conducted an intense training activity aimed at consolidating the synergy within the framework of the Atlantic Alliance. The training included the execution of kinematic maneuvers in training, communications by means of flags and flashes of light, resolution of faults and simulated emergencies.
During the tactical phase of the exercise, which also saw the participation of the Hellenic units Kountoriotis , Navmachos , Evropi , Hevniki and Kalypso , in a multi-threat scenario mainly characterized by the presence of naval mines, the units conducted driving activities on a dredged channel, research, identification and neutralization of underwater devices through the use of ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and underwater operators as well as force protection exercises.
After the successful completion of the activity, the Gaeta ship lowered the NATO flag , exiting the group and starting the return navigation to the Naval Base of La Spezia.