French ship FS Commandant Bouan and Dutch ship HNLMS Van Amstel have been assigned to NATO ‘s Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) for deployment in the Aegean Sea.

The SNMG2 constitutes one of the NATO’s two Immediate Reaction Forces, and is a multinational, integrated maritime force, comprising the naval assets from various allied countries.

It is undertaking reconnaissance and monitoring activities in the Aegean Sea to support NATO allies, Turkey, and Greece, and the European Union border agency Frontex is taking efforts to combat human trafficking and criminal networks.

“We will bring the joining ships onto task as quickly as possible to support the local authorities and FRONTEX.”

The 80.5m long Commandant Bouan (F 797) is a patrol ship deployed to conduct maritime surveillance and rescue operations.

The vessel is equipped with range radars, a sonar system, a telecommunications satellite system, a transmission satellite system, and can accommodate a crew of more than 80 personnel.

The Royal Netherlands Navy multipurpose (M Class) or Karel Doorman Class frigate Van Amstel (F831) has a length of 123m, and is equipped to engage in anti-submarine and surface warfare activities.

The frigate can accommodate a crew of approximately 150.

SNMG2 Commander Rear Admiral Jörg Klein said: "I am glad to have new units added to my multinational force.

"We will bring the joining ships onto task as quickly as possible to support local authorities and FRONTEX to deal with the migrant and refugee crisis."

The latest deployment of the Dutch frigate and the French patrol ship will add to SNMG2’s existing fleet, comprising the German flagship FGS Bonn, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton, the Hellenic frigate HS Salamis, the British landing ship dock (auxiliary) RFA Mounts Bay, and the Turkish frigate TCG Gokova, which has just replaced the TCG Barbaros.

Image: NATO’s SNMG2 gets deployed with Dutch ship HNLMS Van Amstel and French ship FS Commandant Bouan. Photo: courtesy of MARCOM.