NATO’s two frigates arrived in Istanbul on Saturday and will be anchored in Sarayburnu Dock until Sunday, according to a report here on Saturday.
Hurriyet Daily News reported that the Spanish Blas De Lezo and Turkish Salih Reis frigates will stop by Istanbul’s Sarayburnu port as their 400 mariners return to the Mediteranean from the Black Sea in order to conduct military drills to stay ready for ” any sort of crisis.”
The key NATO maritime group has dropped anchor off the shore of Istanbul, returning from a military exercise in the Black Sea with the Bulgarian Navy. It will have three more exercises in the West Mediterranean this year.
The group’s mission is to be ready for naval operations in any situation in the region, Spanish Rear Adm. Eugene Diaz Del Rio was quoted as saying.
“We are executing two main operations: One is against terrorist activities in the Mediterranean, and the other operation is anti- piracy in the Indian Ocean,” said Del Rio.
Led by Del Rio, Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) is a multinational, integrated maritime force made up of vessels from various allied nations, training and operating together as a single team.
The SNMG-2 completed the two-week military drill, which started for June 15, with its two frigates, Spanish Blas De Lezo and Turkish Salih Reis and 400 mariners.