NATO ships in Black Sea on rou­tine vis­it, unre­lat­ed to Geor­gia cri­sis

The Stand­ing NATO Mar­itime Group One (SNMG1), a group of NATO war­ships, con­ducts rou­tine port vis­its and exer­cis­es with NATO mem­ber nations bor­der­ing the Black Sea since 21 August.

This deploy­ment is rou­tine in nature and has been planned for over a year, noti­fi­ca­tion of the require­ment to tran­sit the Turk­ish Straits was giv­en in June well before the cur­rent Geor­gia cri­sis and is com­plete­ly unre­lat­ed. In accor­dance with the terms of the Mon­treux Con­ven­tion, the ships will stay no longer than 21 days in the Black Sea.

SNMG 1 cur­rent­ly com­pris­es the Span­ish SPS Adm Juan de Bour­bon, the Ger­man, FGS Lue­beck and the Pol­ish, ORP Gen­er­al K Pulas­ki and the US frigate, USS Tay­lor.

A fifth mem­ber of SNMG1, the Cana­di­an frigate HMCS Ville de Que­bec, was recent­ly detached from the group to escort World Food Pro­gramme ship­ping off the coast of Soma­lia under Cana­di­an nation­al author­i­ty.

The ships are cur­rent­ly in Con­stan­ta, Roma­nia and will con­duct exer­cis­es with Bul­gar­i­an and Roman­ian ships as well as pay­ing a port vis­it to Var­na, Bul­gar­ia before leav­ing the Black Sea.

SNMG 1 is one of NATO’s stand­ing ele­ments, a group of mem­ber nations’ frigates and destroy­ers, who exer­cise togeth­er year round to pro­mote inter­op­er­abil­i­ty.

Vice-Admi­ral Pim Bedet, Deputy Com­man­der Allied Mar­itime Com­po­nent Com­mand Head­quar­ters North­wood stat­ed “SNMG1, as a stand­ing core ele­ment of the NATO Response Force, is con­duct­ing a pre-planned rou­tine vis­it to the Black Sea region to inter­act and exer­cise with our NATO part­ners Roma­nia and Bul­gar­ia, which is an impor­tant fea­ture of our rou­tine plan­ning in order to main­tain high lev­els of inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and cohe­sion with­in the Alliance.”

NATONATO Press Release (2008)110