HMCS Fredericton paid a non-NATO port visit to Tunis while serving with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) in the Mediterranean Sea. She arrived for the two-day visit on 5 May 23 and then sailed for a visit to Toulon.
The Halifax-class frigate and its crew carried out the visit on behalf of the SNMG2 commander, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta.
The visit focused on enhancing cooperation and partnership between NATO and Tunisia. The Commanding Officer of HMCS Fredericton, Commander Matthew Mitchell, met with local dignitaries including the Commander of the National Coastal Surveillance Service and the Secretary General of La Goulette Municipality.
Tunisia has been part of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) since it began in 1994. The MD is a partnership forum that aims to contribute to security and stability in the wider Mediterranean region, and promote good relations and understanding among participating countries and NATO Allies.
This visit was an opportunity to discuss the cooperative approach to maritime security and maritime priorities shared by both parties, in order to strength security in the region.
“Tunisia is a key partner in the Mediterranean Dialogue and plays a valuable role in maintaining freedom of navigation in the strategic maritime domain,” said Rear Admiral Sciretta. “For that reason, it was important that SNMG2 visit and collaborate with our Tunisian partners. I have great confidence in HMCS Fredericton’s capabilities and in her leadership and crew, as well as in the interoperable manner in which we operate. As a result, we were able to successfully execute this important leadership engagement with our partners.”
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 all adversaries 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.