Spanish Navy's frigate 'Méndez Núñez', flagship of NATO's Standing Standing Maritime Grouping (SNMG-2), has completed its last patrol of the deployment which started on March. Since its departure from Alicante on 4 July, until its recent entry into La Spezia (Italy), the ship has made 12 journeys featuring maritime surveillance and security tasks, as well as training exercises with allied navies.
During this last patrol, the SNMG-2 was made up of the Spanish ship and the British frigate HMS Kent. In addition, the flagship of the Counter-Mines Group No. 2 (SNMCMG-2), the French logistics ship FS Somme, joined the group. These three units carried out a specific programme of exercises in order to promote interoperability among navies. Among the most interesting exercises are multi-threat tactical scenarios, approaches to practice maritime interdiction operations, protection events against cyberattacks and replenishments at sea. The good outcome obtained proves the validity of the NATO procedures.
On the operational side, both groups belong to NATO's core NRF 'Nato Response Force'. These are allied forces that are ready to respond immediately to any crisis affecting the interests of member nations. Moreover, cooperation between two different standing groupings enhances the Alliance's preparedness and response capability.
Finally, during this period, the units have been involved in the 'Sea Guardian' operation to counter terrorism in the Mediterranean. Specifically, the frigate 'Méndez Núñez' made courtesy visits to moored ships in order to raise NATO's profile and raise awareness of this operation among the merchant navy.
Frigate ‘Méndez Núñez’ has completed more than 100 days of deployment. Since its departure from Ferrol on March 5, the ship has made a full deployment, carrying out maritime and air surveillance from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, and taking part in important international exercises (Sea Shield, Italian Phibex and Steadfast Defender). Next port will be Cartagena, where the HOTO ceremony of the grouping flagship is scheduled. Rear admiral Manuel Aguirre Aldereguía has commanded the group since June 2020.