The ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 2 led by flagship U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), are conducting their routine deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. SNMG2 comprises the U.S. Flagship, Spanish Navy ESPS Juan De Borbon, French Navy FS Provence, Hellenic Navy HS Kountouriotis, Italian Navy ITS Vulcano and ITS Federico Martinengo, and Turkish Navy TCG Kemalreis.
Throughout the past few weeks, SNMG2 has conducted training evolutions such as maneuvering, electronic warfare, and air defense exercises as well as several replenishments-at-sea.
“Throughout this deployment, we have the opportunity to continue to develop our tactical interoperability, fine-tune our communication channels, and push the boundaries of our strengths and capabilities with our NATO allies and partners,” said Commander Lawrence Heyworth IV, commanding officer of USS Forrest Sherman. “It’s extremely apparent that the NATO Alliance is stronger than ever and it’s an honor to serve as the flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.”
Ships from SNMG2 visited Souda, Greece, for a port visit from July 15-18 and arrived in Aksaz for a scheduled port visit, July 29. Port visits provide an opportunity to replenish ship resources while affording the crew a chance to recharge, develop understanding of local culture, and build positive relationships.
“The ships in Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 comprise some of the hardest working individuals who acknowledge and value the importance of purposeful training and prompt and well-informed tactical action,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta, commander, SNMG2. “Our task group is performing at the highest level and will continue to be ready for any mission at any time.”
SNMG2 is a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat and provides the Alliance with a continuous maritime capability to perform a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.