The frigate 'Cristobal Colon' has docked at the Naval Base of Taranto (Italy) as a previous step to its participation in the international manoeuvre ‘Mare Aperto 22-2’. The ship is integrated in the NATO Standing Naval Grouping 2 (SNMG-2).
During its stay in port, the ship has participated in different activities oriented to the preparation of this exercise. Thus, the Commander of the SNMG-2, US Navy Admiral Scott Sciretta, as well as the members of his staff were received on board for different coordination meetings.
Prior to departure to sea, the team of officers and NCOs participated in the exercise coordination conference, chaired by the Admiral of the Italian Fleet, Aurelio de Carolis, who stressed in his speech the importance of the presence of allied units in this exercise in order to improve interoperability between NATO nations.
The 'Mare Aperto' is a multinational maritime exercise led by the Italian Navy. In it, the Atlantic Alliance countries will train in a scenario in which NATO Article 5 activation will be put into practice. One of the objectives of this exercise is to demonstrate deterrence through the presence of NATO naval and air units in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as to reinforce the commitment of allied nations to maritime security.
SNMG-2 is a standing NATO maritime grouping comprising naval and air units from the various allies. Its role is to provide NATO with a rapid reaction force in naval scenarios.
During its integration in the grouping, the 'Cristóbal Colón' contributes to operations by providing a high air defence and detection capacity thanks to its AEGIS combat system and the SPY-1D (V) multifunction radar. It is manned by 226 men and women, with an Operational Security Team (Marine Infantry) and a SH-60B helicopter.