Specialist crews from the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) participated in combined annual exercises Mare Aperto, Polaris, and Italian Minex 24.

These exercises took place from 13-23 May 2024, off the east coast of Corsica, France, and near Cagliari, Italy, according to a NATO press release.

The multinational exercises, conducted simultaneously by the Italian and French Navies, provided an opportunity for SNMCMG2 to perform mine countermeasures (MCM) activities in realistic conditions. The exercise area south of Sardegna Island, a former minefield site, was particularly challenging due to the complex seabed conditions. During the exercise, the task group identified 12 historic sea mines over two days.

“This exercise has been the ideal arena for SNMCMG2 to carry out MCM operations in the coastlines of Corsica and Sardegna,” said Hellenic Navy Captain Fotios Paraskevas, Commander of SNMCMG2.

“Challenging seabed conditions added to the realism of the exercise. Moreover, we have proved our mine hunting skills by identifying exercise and historical ordnances in support of the community of seafarers and fisheries and safeguarding the freedom of navigation for real life as well as for exercise purposes. SNMCMG2 is always ready to alternate from fictitious to real-life operations.”

Undiscovered ordnance from the world wars of the 20th century continues to pose risks to seafarers.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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