According to the immediate analysis and evaluation meeting, organized on the return of military ships to the port of Constanta and the conclusion of the multinational exercise Poseidon 21, the representatives of the participating forces stated that the purpose and objectives of the joint activities were fully met.
The leader of the exercise, Commander Liviu Coman, and the commander of the Permanent Naval Mine Action Group SNMCMG-2 (Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group), Commander Yusuf Karagulle, appreciated the way the activities at sea were planned, organized, and conducted, as well as the opportunities for joint training of Romanian and foreign soldiers. According to them, each onboard crew and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) team successfully performed their tasks, while respecting the rules imposed by the current health situation.
Following the participation in the Multinational Exercise Poseidon 21, the maritime minesweeper “Lieutenant Lupu Dinescu”, a ship integrated into SNMCMG-2, together with the other partner ships of the NATO naval group, the TCG flagship “Sokullu Mehmet Pasha” (Turkey), the hunters ESP Tajo (Spain) and TCG “Ayvalik” (Turkey) make a stopover in the military port of Constanța on 5-7 March to restore combat capability, after which they will continue to operate in the Black Sea, until the second half of March. Throughout the stay at shore, Romanian and foreign military sailors will remain isolated on board, in order to comply with the measures to limit the spread and infection of the crews of military ships with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The largest multinational exercise organized by the Romanian Naval Forces in 2021, Poseidon 21, was attended by over 600 soldiers from France, Greece, Romania, Spain, the United States, and Turkey, who used 11 military ships, nine aircraft, a pyrotechnic intervention truck, and a remote-controlled underwater robot.
Exercise Poseidon 21 is included in the NATO Joint Enhanced Training (CJET) Program, a complex concept for Allied training, which was proposed by Romania at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, in 2016, to strengthen security measures on the south-eastern side of Europe, as well as to ensure the continued presence of Allied forces in the Black Sea region.
On behalf of the Romanian Naval Forces, participated the minelayer Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu, the hydrographic ship Capt. Alexandru Catuneanu, the navy divers ship Venus, the tugboat Vartosul and Voinicul, two EOD diving detachments, river divers and rescue divers, as well as a Puma Naval helicopter. Romania was also represented at Exercise “Poseidon 21” by four MiG-21 Lancer aircraft and an IAR 330 MEDEVAC helicopter of the Air Force, an infantry platoon from the 9th Brigade Marasesti subordinated to the Land Forces, as well as a patrol ship and Coast Guard intervention, a pyrotechnic intervention truck and an ambulance from the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Allied foreign soldiers were present with minesweeper and HS hunters Evropi (Greece), a remote-controlled underwater robot (Turkey), EOD divers (USA) and combat aircrafts Rafale (France), Eurofighter Typhoon (Spain). Also, NATO Allied Command approved the participation in the Multinational Exercise Poseidon 21 of the NATO Permanent Naval Mine Action Group SNMCMG- 2 (Standing NATO Maritime Counter-Measures Group).
The scenario of the exercise included joint sequences to combat underwater threats, in which were applied NATO operational procedures for hydrographic research, identification and neutralization of marine mines and improvised explosive devices, in combinations with sequences for combating enemy aviation, surface ships and submarines, as well as maneuvers to tow a damaged ship, resupply at sea and provide first aid. In the terrestrial area, an interdepartmental sequence was carried out, by applying a joint Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Internal Affairs operational action procedure, for the situation of an explosion at a hydrotechnical construction in the Romanian coastal area. All sequences of the exercise Poseidon 21 were planned in agreement with the measures ordered by the national authorities in Romania and in the participating states to prevent the infection and limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Training of military divers
The multinational exercise Poseidon 21, organized by the Romanian Naval Forces and in full swing in the Black Sea, also included the execution of an inter-institutional training sequence, between the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations Dobrogea of Constanța County and EOD combat divers (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).
The scenario was based on the occurrence of an accident with victims, in the coastal area of the Romanian coast, as a result of which there was an explosion, and according to witnesses, various pyrotechnic materials were projected in the Black Sea.
According to the national defense procedures, ISU Dobrogea requested support from the Diving Center, in order to search for and annihilate the explosive devices that fell into the water.
The military divers identified the dangerous material, after which they moved it to a safe place to be destroyed, successfully fulfilling the entrusted mission.
Photos: Cosmin Costea
Aspects during the Multinational Exercise Poseidon 21
After the stopover that the military ships from the NATO Permanent Naval Group for the Fight against Marine Mines SNMCMG-2 carried out in the port of Constanta, at the end of February, to restore the combat capacity, in order to carry out specific activities, to take part in the first multinational exercise organized by the Romanian Naval Forces in 2021, Poseidon 21.
The maritime minesweeper Lieutenant Lupu Dinescu, a ship integrated in SNMCMG-2, carries out, between March 1-5, intense training activities in the Black Sea, together with ships of the Romanian Naval Forces and partner navies, according to the plan action of the exercise.
The main purpose of the main armed forces is to strengthen the interoperability between the participating ships and crews and, at the same time, the military presence in the Pontic basin.
In order to maintain the standards implemented at the level of the Alliance, regarding the consolidation of security in the Black Sea region, actions have been planned and carried out against surface and air threats, maneuvers and naval evolutions, fighting with artillery systems on board ships, activities search and rescue of human lives at sea, communication exercises, as well as resupply and towing maneuvers at sea.
Despite the fact that the low temperatures and hydrometeorological conditions are not friendly at all during this period, the crew members, made up of 70% young soldiers, did not encounter any impediments in carrying out the tasks entrusted to them. The Romanian military sailors on board are very motivated and eager to develop their skills specific to their profession, in order to be able to report confidently every time: “Mission accomplished!”.
Petty Officer Mihai Martiș, responsible for information and public relations activities on board DM-25
“Bravo Zulu for all the participants from The Chief of The Romanian Naval Forces!
Fair winds and following seas!” transmitted Rear Admiral Mihai Panait, at the end of Poseidon 21 multinational exercise. “The Romanian Naval Forces organized and, with the special involvement of its partners, carried out, this week, in the Black Sea, the most important multinational exercise of the beginning of the year, “Poseidon 21”. This is why I want to convey to all the participating forces, to the over 600 Romanian and foreign soldiers, my appreciation for the professionalism and dedication they showed, once again, during the entrusted missions. Through our achievements, we have demonstrated the impressive common capacity of a complex package of interoperability and camaraderie. Those who have the duty to deliver security on the southeastern flank of the Alliance have a strong desire to convey a unique and powerful message in the Black Sea region. The involvement of the Romanian Navy in the international efforts offers the citizens of the Member States the feeling of peace and security and is a solid and continuous one. This is demonstrated by the successful fulfillment of all entrusted missions, a notable element on NATO’s agenda. We will use the Lessons Identified on Poseidon21 in order to develop our Lessons Learned set, for optimizing the Standard Operation Procedures of the Romanian Navy crews.”
Photo: Ionut Felea, Mihai Martis, Cosmin Costea – Romanian Navy