Nato warships continue drills in Black Sea amid Ukraine crisis

16 March 2015 (Last Updated March 16th, 2015 18:30)

Six warships from the US, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Romania have visited the Romanian port of Constanta to participate in Nato Black Sea exercises.

SNMCG2

Six warships from the US, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Romania have visited the Romanian port of Constanta to participate in Nato Black Sea exercises.

The Standing Nato Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2) training is being led by US Navy rear admiral Brad Williamson.

The contingent has arrived in Romania after a similar visit to Varna in Bulgaria earlier this month.

The SNMG2 group is led by the USS Vicksburg (CG 69), and consists of HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), ITS Aliseo (F 574) and ROS Regina Maria (F 222).

SNMG2 chief of staff captain Gennaro Carola (ITA) said: "For many of our sailors, this is the first opportunity they will have to visit Constanta and to get a glimpse of Romania's rich history and culture.

"They look forward to exploring the area, and more importantly, exercising at sea with their allies from the Romanian Navy."

During the port visit, SNMG2 members discussed maritime issues with local Romanian authorities and navy officials and conducted training with the Romanian Navy in the Black Sea.

The training included simulated anti-air and anti-submarine warfare exercises, plus simulated small boat attacks and basic ship handling manoeuvres.

"The training included simulated anti-air and anti-submarine warfare exercises, plus small boat attacks and basic ship handling manoeuvres. "

SNMG2 ships are training with the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies during the Nato exercise.

Primary focus of the exercises was on maneuvering, combat readiness and use of communication systems in a multinational setting.

Nato's Black Sea exercise coincides with one year of annexation of Crimea by Russia. Russia is mobilising 45,000 troops and warplanes and submarines across the country, in a show of strength.

SNMG2 commander rear admiral Williamson (US Navy) said: "The training and exercises we conducted with our allies in the Black Sea prepares us to undertake any mission Nato might require to meet its obligations for collective defence."


Image: Nato's drill underway in Romania. Photo: courtesy of Nato.