Turkey takes charge of NATO’s mine countermeasures force
BALIKESIR – Anadolu Agency
DHA photoTurkey has taken over the command of a NATO mine countermeasures reaction force from Italy for one year in a ceremony held in Turkey’s northwestern province of Balıkesir.
Turkish Naval Forces’ Staff Colonel Ramazan Kesgin took over NATO’s permanent Mine Countermeasures Group-2 (SNMCMG-2) during an official ceremony at the Erdek naval base command in Balıkesir on July 2.
The TCG Barbaros frigate will be the command and control ship of the group, it was announced.
NATO Deputy Chief of Staff Operations Commodore Arian Minderhoud from the Royal Netherlands Navy said the mission group would continue to be the visible guarantee of NATO’s collaboration, commitment and determination.
Kesgin said the personnel had prepared well for the mission, and they were ready to represent Turkey to the best of their ability during their tenure in command.
“We are taking the command of the mission group. Turkey will undertake it for a year. We are prepared well for this mission and will represent our country in the best way. We are ready for our duty to show NATO’s power and determination in the seas,” Kesgin said.
Apart from the TCG Barbaros ship, “another ship named Enez will be in the mission as well,” said Kesgin.
Ships from other countries, including Romania, Greece, Germany and Spain, will join the group and contribute to the mission at certain times, Kesgin said.
The group, which guards NATO ships from sea mines, has been carrying out its activities since 1999.