NATO Maritime Group transits Suez Canal en-route to anti-piracy duties
Seven ships from six NATO navies transit the Suez Canal yesterday, on their way to conduct both anti-piracy duties and visit NATO partner nations in the Gulf region. In response to a UN request, NATO defense ministers last week authorized NATO naval vessels to help protect World Food Program ships carrying desperately needed supplies to conflict-ridden Somalia.
Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) already was scheduled to conduct a series of Gulf port visits and will take on the anti-piracy role off the coast of Somalia
Given the very short-notice, details of how the group will conduct the anti-piracy mission and also carry out port visits are still being finalized
SNMG2 is scheduled to visit partners of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
General John Craddock, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said, “The threat of piracy is real and growing in many parts of the world today, and this response is a good illustration of NATO’s ability to adapt quickly to new security challenges.”
SNMG2 currently comprises ships from Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. Command of SNMG2 is assumed on rotation by contributing nations and currently is Rear Admiral Giovanni Gumiero, Italian Navy. SNMG2 currently comprises:
* ITS Durand de la Penne (flagship, destroyer D560, Italy)
* FGS Karlsruhe (frigate F212, Germany)
* FGS Rhön (auxiliary A1443, Germany)
* HS Themistokles (frigate F465, Greece)
* TCG Gokova (frigate G496, Turkey)
* HMS Cumberland (frigate F85, United Kingdom)
* USS The Sullivans (destroyer DDG 68, USA)
As NATO’s anti-piracy effort is formalized, the Alliance will continue to coordinate its assistance with the World Food Program, the European Union and the US Led Operation enduring Freedom who are all involved in this humanitarian and security effort.
For more Information please contact the Allied Command Operations Public Affairs Office:
Tel: +32 (0)65 44 4119
Mobile: 0032 (0) 475 77 31 05