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NATO Strengthens Maritime Partnership With Algeria

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), led by the Italian flagship ITS Stromboli and the Italian Minehunter ITS Numana, recently conducted a port visit to Algiers from August 21 to 24.

The four-day visit aimed at fostering relations and operational cohesion between NATO and Algeria, a partner nation in North Africa.

Local authorities extended a hospitable welcome to the NATO group, complete with an Algerian Coast Guard patrol boat escorting the vessels into Algiers harbour. During their stay, SNMCMG2 crew members engaged in various cultural and recreational activities organised by Algerian Navy personnel.

Commander Ettore Ronco of the Italian Navy, who leads SNMCMG2, stated, “In a so rapidly evolving world, overwhelmed by continuous changes, Algeria is for us a precious friend, partner without which it is unthinkable to guarantee maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea and stability in North Africa. Working together allows us to face situations of crisis together in a cohesive, rapid and effective manner.”

In addition to fostering relations, the visit included discussions on maritime operations and lectures on Naval Mine Warfare. The visit culminated in an official gathering for SNMCMG2 crew members and diplomats, hosted by the Algerian Navy.

Algeria has been a participant in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue Programme since 2000. The ongoing cooperation between NATO and Algeria aims at enhancing military dialogue, mutual understanding, and regional security.

The SNMCMG2 forms part of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which in turn is a component of the NATO Response Force (NRF). The VJTF is designed to provide rapid response capabilities, and its maritime component can be augmented with additional forces as required.

Source : UK Defence