(Source : NATO Maritime Command) – “It is undeniable that, given the global pandemic, extraordinary measures must be put in force to prevent and mitigate the risk of exposure for every single individual involved in the activities. Together with our medical staff, we are working daily to enforce these measures while continuously refining them, as well as develop procedures to adopt in the unlikely case of an infection amongst the crew in order to minimize the risk of spreading, should such event take place. This work is part of what enables us to continue our support to NATO partner nations in the Black Sea,”says Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni, Italian Navy, Commander of SNMG2.
Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) Task Unit 2 currently consists of its flagship TCG Salihreis, as well as frigates ITS Fasan and HMCS Fredericton, just back from an intense program of exercises in the Central Mediterranean. SNMG2 units entered the Black Sea on Monday, 23 March for routine operations in the area, including upcoming exercises with the Georgian Navy. With three Allied nations bordering the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, a number of Allied ships regularly operate in the Black Sea. The Standing Naval Forces also conduct regular patrols in the international waters of the Black Sea enhancing Allied ability to work together in the maritime domain.
The NATO Group will visit the Georgian port Poti at the beginning of April. Although many of the planned activities with the Georgian authorities, media gatherings and events are being scaled down in order to reduce risk for both sides of COVID-19, the exercises at sea involving Georgian Navy will go on as planned.
Photo Credit : NATO Maritime Command, March 2020