The coastline of the Balearic Archipelago served as an ideal training ground for the Spanish-led Mine Countermeasures (MCM) exercise ESP MINEX 24.

This annual Allied naval exercise, conducted by the Spanish Navy, focuses on MCM operations in mined coastal waters, ensuring freedom of navigation and action from the sea to the mainland while addressing asymmetric and hybrid threats.

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) participated in the exercise with the Hellenic flagship HS Heracles and minehunters FS Capricorne (France), HS Evropi (Greece), ITS Chioggia (Italy), ESPS Segura (Spain), and TCG Amasra (Türkiye).

ESP MINEX 24 provided a prestigious training opportunity for units to operate in a complex multi-threat tactical environment. The exercise aimed to enhance cooperation, mutual understanding, and effectiveness among Allied units and multinational staff in expeditionary MCM operations, simulating a crisis scenario.

ESP-MINEX 24 has been a prestigious occasion for training our units in a challenging and tangled multi-threat tactical screenplay,” said the Commander of SNMCMG2, Hellenic Navy Captain Fotios Paraskevas.

Emphasis was given to MCM Operations, Force Protection and Maritime Situational Awareness operations, and to a robust command and control system with suitable communications. Furthermore, the support and hospitality provided by the Spanish Navy and the Spanish Navy Mine Countermeasures Force are highly appreciated.

SNMCMG2 provides continuous maritime MCM capabilities to execute NATO missions across its area of responsibility. It operates under Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom. MARCOM is the central command of all NATO maritime forces, and the MARCOM commander serves as the primary maritime advisor to the Alliance.

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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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