The frigate 'Cristobal Colón' has been docked at the Souda Naval Base, in Greece, as a previous step to its participation in the exercise 'NIRIIS-22', integrated in the Standing Nato Naval Group 2 (SNMG-2), under national operational control of the Operations Command. While in port, the ship has participated in different activities oriented to the preparation of this exercise.
These preliminary activities began with the exercise coordination conference at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), which was attended by the ship's commander accompanied by the Chief of Operations. The event was chaired by the 2nd Commander of the Greek Navy, Admiral Georgios Kampourakis, who in his speech stressed the importance of the presence of NATO units in Greece's most important annual naval exercise in order to improve interoperability between allied nations.
‘NIRIIS-22' is a multinational maritime exercise led by the Greek Navy. In this exercise, Atlantic Alliance countries will train in a Crisis Response Operation scenario. 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.
The Search and Inspection Unit (TVR) has also conducted several exercises to maintain its level of training at the NMIOTC facility, such as gunnery and medical support exercises in boarding operations. NMIOTC is a NATO center of excellence in conducting training and courses related to ship boarding operations.
SNMG-2 comprises naval and air units from various allies countries. The role of SNMG-2 is to provide NATO with a rapid reaction force in naval scenarios.
During its integration, the frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' contributes to the operations by providing a high air defense and detection capacity thanks to its AEGIS combat system and the SPY-1D (V) multifunction radar. It is manned by 225 men and women, with an Operational Security Team (EOS), an Embarked Air Unit (UNAEMB) - SH-60B helicopter-, and an Interception Controller.