The Romanian Naval Forces have released, on Monday, command of the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG-2), informs, on Tuesday, a press release sent by the Naval Forces General Staff.
According to the quoted source, the event took place, as a first, through videoconference, as a preventive measure in the international epidemiological context given by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The command of SNMCMG-2, ensured for a period of six months by Romania, through Commander Valentin-Catalin Vlad, was turned over to his Greek counterpart, Commander Dimitrios Katsouras, the ceremony being presided by Commodore Jeanette Morang (Royal Netherlands Navy), who is occupying the position of commander of the NATO Surface Forces of the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM).
"By the assumption of the command of the SNMCMG-2, for the first time in history, by the Romanian Naval Forces, our country demonstrated its capacity to be a provider of security for the defence of allies, the Naval Group bringing its contribution to maintaining the battle readiness and immediate reaction capacity, according to the allied rapid military response to crisis situation and to promoting the values and image of NATO. We should all be proud because these past six months have proven that together we are strong, devoted, flexible and ready to adapt to any operational environment, friendly or challenging, to ensure the level of immediate reaction. Fair winds and following seas!" said Commander Valentin-Catalin Vlad, upon turning over command.
In her turn, commodore Jeanette Morang, emphasized the valuable contribution that the experience of the Romanian commander brought in the six months leading the NATO Group.
I will emphasize especially the execution of the mission in hard, unprecedented conditions brought on by the protection measures specific to the COVID-19 global pandemic, which held you permanently embarked upon the ship and which made the expression 'stay safe' gain other values. MARCOM appreciates the way in which the SNMCMG-2, with Commander Valentin-Catalin Vlad in charge, has managed this challenge, executing the missions in full safety for the personnel of the ships that were part of the group. Although a part of the international exercises were canceled, you managed to maintain the battle readiness and immediate reaction capacity of NATO, capitalizing on all the interaction opportunities with allied naval forces. I thank the Romanian Naval Forces for the important contribution brought to the NATO naval group, and for future missions I wish you fair winds and following seas! said Jeanette Morang.
Commander Valentin-Catalin Vlad led the general staff of the group, which was completed by three officers of partner naval forces, according to the NATO policy of organizing standing groups, from aboard the flagship Minelayer Vice-Admiral Constantin Balescu (PM-274).
Under the command of the Romanian officer, the SNMCMG-2 missions in the January-June 2020 period were carried out, in the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, by military ships of Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Romania and Turkey, in accordance with the force generation graph drawn up by the Allied Maritime Command of NATO (MARCOM).
SNMCMG-2, commanded for the first time by an officer of the Romanian Naval Forces, acted to ensure the immediate reaction capacity at the level of NATO, as well as to increase interoperability between Allied naval forces and promote the image of the North Atlantic Alliance, through joint training in which the naval group participated and through the activities that it has executed at sea and in the ports where it replenished its combat capacity.