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The Standing NATO Response Force Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) will transit the Suez Canal

JFC Naples Press Releases{05}
{11 03 05}

The Standing NATO Response Force Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) will transit the Suez Canal on 12 March 2005 en route to the Red Sea where the Force will visit ports in the Red Sea. It is the first time that a NATO Standing Force transits the Suez Canal. The cruise is part of the Mediterranean Dialogue program and will allow NATO to foster dialogue, co-operation and mutual understanding in the visited ports.

SNMCMG2 was established as a NATO Immediate Reaction Force on 26 May 1999, under the initial name of NATO Maritime Mine Countermeasures Force Mediterranean. Since its activation, in addition to conducting training activities, it has participated in NATO peace support operations related to the crises in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Force also periodically participates in Operation Active Endeavour, NATO’s maritime contribution to the fight against international terrorism. In the last year the force has participated in several NATO and non-NATO exercises and has visited numerous ports in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.

Commodore of the Force is Captain Paolo Polidoro, Italian Navy. Nations normally contributing to SNMCMG2 are Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey. The following ships currently comprise the Force:

- ITS Bersagliere, Italian frigate (flagship)
- FGS Laboe, German mine-hunter
- HS Aidon, Greek minesweeper
- ITS Alghero, Italian mine-hunter
- SPS Tambre, Spanish mine-hunter
- TCG Edincik, Turkish mine-hunter

Launched in 1994, the Mediterranean Dialogue has successfully contributed to a better mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation between NATO and its seven Mediterranean partners: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The Dialogue was further enhanced after the Istanbul Summit in June 2004, when it was elevated to a partner relationship. At the same time, NATO leaders launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) with selected countries in the broader region of the Middle East.

More information about SNMCMG2 can be found at http://www.jfcnaples.nato.int/JFCN_factsheets/SNMCMG2.htm

More information about the Mediterranean Dialogue and ICI can be found at http://www.nato.int/med-dial/home.htm



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