Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) concluded a port visit in Split, Croatia March 23 after completing Exercise Dynamic Manta 2023.
SNMG2 entered Split on Monday, March 13th along with its flagship, USS James E Williams, as well as HS Psara and HNLMS De Zeven Provincien. One task group ship, HMCS Fredericton, entered Split on Sunday, March 12th. The task group departed on Thursday, March 16th with the exception of HS Psara which departed on Wednesday March 15th.
While in Split, the SNMG2 Commander, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta, conducted visits with local and regional government officials including the Mayor of Split, Ivica Puljak, and the Prefect of Split-Dalmatia, Blazenko Boban. Rear Admiral Sciretta also conducted official meetings with Croatian Navy leadership to include Rear Admiral Ivo Raffanelli, Commander of the Croatian Navy, Rear Admiral Damir Dojkic, Deputy Commander of the Croatian Navy, and Captain Darko Malecic, Commander of the Navy Fleet.
I cannot emphasize enough how valuable the Dynamic Manta exercise was for the NATO Alliance and all of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding areas
Additionally, Rear Admiral Sciretta conducted a press availability with local media and attended a reception with Croatian military and government officials hosted by the Canadian embassy aboard the HMCS Fredericton.
Croatia has been a very valuable and active member nation within the NATO Alliance” said Sciretta. “Their participation and leadership in missions like Operation Sea Guardian, a maritime security operation aimed at working with Mediterranean stakeholders to maintain maritime situational awareness, deter and counter terrorism and enhance capacity building, ensures greater coverage for NATO in the Mediterranean Sea. I look forward to working more with Croatia as we all do our part in keeping the maritime region safe.”
The port visit came as SNMG2 concluded its participation in Exercise Dynamic Manta 2023, a robust and complex anti-submarine warfare exercise conducted by NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and hosted by Italy. The exercise involved ships, submarines and aircraft from nine different NATO nations and tested all of the units’ capabilities in communicating, operating and responding together during simulated warfare scenarios.
“I cannot emphasize enough how valuable the Dynamic Manta exercise was for the NATO Alliance and all of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding areas” said Rear Admiral Sciretta. “Anti-submarine warfare is complex and every opportunity we have to hone our skills in this mission space is crucial. Training and communicating with our Allied nations to be able to defend against an adversarial submarine threat is imperative. It allows us to maintain readiness and keep the strategic maritime channels open and free for everyone.”
As a NATO task group, SNMG2 prioritizes its mandate to enhance the collective readiness, responsiveness, deployable readiness, integration and interoperability of its forces. Its focus is on deterrence and defense against every potential threat in the maritime domain, upholding freedom of navigation, securing maritime trade routes and protecting the main lines of communication.
SNMG2 is a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat. This continuous maritime capability performs a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.
SNMG2 is one of four Standing Naval Forces that operate under NATO Allied Maritime Command, headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom.