Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO visits Haifa

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Entering port Haifa_2
151207-DEUN-XXXXB-008 HAIFA, ISRAEL — The SNMG2 unit HDMS ABSALON is berthing in the port of Haifa (Israel) next to the SNMG2 flagship FGS HAMBURG (December 7, 2015). The units of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) are sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, inter alia, participating in multinational exercises and Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, showing presence of the Alliance and conducting routine port visits in NATO and Non-NATO countries. Credit: German Navy photo by Photographer PO1/OR-6 Alyssa Bier (released)
9 DEC 2015
HAIFA, Israel – Two NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2), flagship FGS HAMBURG and HDMS ABSALON, arrived Monday morning 7 December for a port visit to the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) partner nation.
The crews of the ships will have opportunities to interact with their Israeli counterparts. On conclusion, NATO and Israeli naval forces plan to participate in a passing exercise (PASSEX) to enhance interoperability.
SNMG2 was fully engaged in the preceding months supporting NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.  HDMS ABSALON, a recent addition to SNMG2, has been deployed since September in the Indian Ocean in support of NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD.
Since joining the MD in 1995, NATO/Israel cooperation has included search and rescue, humanitarian relief, border security, counter-terrorism, and emergency planning.
The port visit to the MD partner follows visits to MD partners Morocco (SNMG2), Jordan (counter-piracy Task Force 508 HDMS ABSALON), and Algeria (Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO) earlier in 2015.
Story by: HQ Maritime Command Public Affairs Office.
Background information:
SNMG2 is one of the four standing maritime forces of NATO. Two are frigate groups and two are mine counter measures groups, making up the core of the maritime NATO Immediate Reaction Forces.
NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) was initiated in 1994 by the North Atlantic Council. It currently involves seven non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
The Dialogue reflects the Alliance’s view that security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. It is an important component of the Alliance’s policy of outreach and cooperation.
The Mediterranean Dialogue’s overall aim is to:
:•           contribute to regional security and stability
•           achieve better mutual understanding
•           dispel any misconceptions about NATO among Dialogue countries
Source: NATO

L. J. De Rothschild

Senior Editor

NATO Section

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Robert Williams

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