Six NATO warships arrived in the Black Sea on Wednesday to take part in exercises with the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish navies, the Alliance’s Maritime Command (MARCOM) said in a statement, rt.com informs.
The six vessels in the exercises are assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), which is headed by US Rear Admiral Brad Williamson.
SNMG2 currently consists of flagship US cruiser guided missile, the USS Vicksburg, as well as Canada’s HMCS Fredericton, Turkey’s TCG Turgutreis, FGS Spessart of Germany, Italian frigate ITS Aliseo and ROS Regina Maria of Romania.
“The training and exercises we will conduct with our Allies in the Black Sea prepares us to undertake any mission NATO might require to meet its obligations for collective defense,” Williamson is cited as saying by the MARCOM’s website.
“We are here at the invitation of the Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian governments and look forward to enhancing our interoperability with their navies,” the Rear Admiral added.
The drill will include simulated anti-air and anti-submarine warfare exercises, simulated small boat attacks and basic ship handling manoeuvres.
On Wednesday the Ministry of National Defence announced that the Romanian Navy will contribute to military exercises in the Black Sea in March, alongside the Standing NATO Maritime Group-2 (SNMG-2); Romania sends its frigate Regina Maria with a Puma Naval helicopter on board, a release informed.
“The participation of the Regina Maria frigate to the operations of the SNMG-2 naval group in the Black Sea represents Romania’s contribution to NATO’s immediate response package; its purpose is to consolidate trust and develop allies’ interoperability,” the document read.