NATO ships arrive in Canada for task group exercises
Three ships from the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived in the port of Halifax, Canada for a scheduled port visit ahead of exercises with US and Canadian navies on Thursday (31 July 2014). The exercise in North America is to test the readiness of NATO’s naval forces through joint training, said the Group Commander, Rear Adm. Brad Williamson. “I look forward to operating with the US, Canadian, German and Turkish units participating in this exercise,” he said, adding that Task Group Exercise is one of many opportunities “to foster trans-Atlantic interoperability and further enhance the readiness of NATO forces.”
The SNMG2 currently consists of the US Flagship, USS Leyte Gulf, the German ship FGS Niedersachsen, and the Turkish ship TCG Kemalreis. HMCS Regina, a Canadian ship, also serves under the group and remains in the Mediterranean in support of NATO’s maritime security operations in the region.
The Task Group Exercise is a multi-day exercise featuring anti-air, anti-submarine, live fire and ship handling exercises designed to provide high-end warfare training and valuable experience. SNMG2 is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks. Composition of the force varies as allied nations contribute assets on a rotational basis.
Over the next few weeks the group will participate in intensive training events in the western Atlantic. SNMG2 will exercise jointly with US carrier strike groups and other forces of the US and Canadian navies. SNMG2 will be led by a U.S. Navy admiral and flagship for one year.