The maritime minesweeper Lieutenant Lupu Dinescu (DM-25) left the military port of Constanța on Thursday, February 25, on a mission ensuring the collective security of NATO in the Black Sea, as part of the NATO Permanent Naval Group to Fight Against Marine Mines SNMCMG2 (Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group), for a period of three weeks.
SNMCMG2 will consist of the Turkish flagship Sokullu Mehmet Pasa, BGS Priboy (Bulgaria), ROS Lupu Dinescu (Romania), ESPS Tajo (Spain), and TCG Ayvalık (Turkey). The group will also conduct a passing exercise with the Ukrainian Navy. Besides the training, the NATO Group will also conduct port visits to Constanta, Romania, and Odesa, Ukraine.
“By taking advantage of our activities in the Black Sea such as the multinational exercises, port visits, passing exercises, and maritime security patrols, SNMCMG2 Black Sea deployment is an important opportunity contributing to achieving mutual understanding, interoperability and confidence with our Allies and partners,” said the Commander of SNMCMG2, Turkish Navy Captain Yusuf Karagülle.
With three Allied nations, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, and two regional partners, Ukraine and Georgia bordering the Black Sea, the Standing Naval Group presence in the region is a regular occurrence. While in the Black Sea, the group will also conduct maritime security patrols in international waters to enhance NATO maritime situational awareness between Allies and regional partners.
The group will participate in the Romanian mine warfare exercise Poseidon 21 exercise, organized between February 26 and March 6 by the Romanian Naval Forces. Poseidon 21 is the first multinational exercise held in 2021 in the Black Sea and will be attended by over 700 Romanian and foreign soldiers, with 13 military ships, nine aircraft, a pyrotechnic intervention truck, and a remote-controlled underwater robot.
All ship’s crew members were tested by RT-PCR techniques for COVID-19 and, prior to boarding the ship, all interior spaces of the vessel were disinfected. After completing the mission and returning the ship to the port of Constanța, the crew will be tested RT-PCR, according to the procedures in force.
The maritime minesweeper “Lieutenant Lupu Dinescu” has an onboard crew of 71 soldiers, including two women, and the ship’s commander is Lieutenant-Commander Ionut Diaconu.
Information and Public Relations Office Romanian Navy