Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) recently completed exercises with Israeli Navy units in the Eastern Mediterranean.
On 15 February, SNMG2 units along with INS Kidon and INS Sufa departed Haifa and executed a serialised schedule of exercises.
The PASSEX (Passing Exercise) concluded with a ‘sail-past’ to wish farewell to the units involved in the exercise.
NATO say in a release:
“This PASSEX concludes the collaboration between SNMG2 units and the Israeli Navy after a three-day port visit to Haifa, Israel, between 12-15 February 2021. During their stay in Haifa, coordination meetings between SNMG2 and Israeli Navy representatives were carried out under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. Engagements included briefings to Israeli Navy about NATO standard procedures including towing ship manoeuvres, among others.”
Quoted in the aforementioned release, Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, said:
“This PASSEX has been the second interaction between the Israeli Navy and NATO in less than three months. The cooperation between NATO and partners like Israel are essential to contribute to NATO’s success and increase the security of the international community. Sharing information as well as exercising together are essential tools to reach interoperability, reinforce cohesion and build trust between NATO and its partners.”
As an active member of the Mediterranean Dialogue for more than 25 years, cooperation between Israel and NATO have included a broad spectrum of areas like search and rescue, humanitarian relief, border security, counter-terrorism and medical cooperation, among others.