Minelayer F-274 “Vice-Amiral Constantin Balescu” under the subordination of the Fleet Command returned to Constanta on Friday after a 6-month international mission as a command ship of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 – SNMCMG-2, the General Staff of the Naval Forces (SMFN) informs.
According to the quoted source, between 20 January and 5 June 2020, the Romanian ship conducted marine countermine specific missions to maintain the immediate combat and response capability of NATO, according to the allied rapid military response in crisis situations, in the region of the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Minelayer F-274 “Vice-Amiral Constantin Balescu” under the command of Captain-Commander Daniel Gheorma, went on a mission 137 days ago, with a crew of 68 sailors and 17 staff soldiers, of which 14 Romanians, traveling, during the recent mission completed, over 9,440 nautical miles.
During the six months, as a SNMCMG-2 command ship, minelayer F-274 “Vice-Amiral Constantin Balescu” conducted maritime traffic monitoring activities, missions supporting NATO Operation Sea Guardian, as well as actions to deter potential threats to the Alliance, training activities, integration and interoperability, activities representing the Alliance in the ports where they restored the combat capability of the naval group.
Upon arriving in the Constanta Military port, the crew of the F-274 ship was welcomed by National Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Daniel Petrescu, the Chief of the Romanian Naval Forces, Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu Ph.D., as well as by commanders of the military units of the Navy Forces, in the presence of whom Commander Valentin-Catalin Vlad, the NATO SNMCMG-2 Commander reported: Mission accomplished!
Within the ad-hoc festivity, the sailors returning from the international mission were congratulated for the professionalism they showed during the activity and, as a sign of appreciation for the results achieved, they were decorated, according to the order of the Minister of National Defence, with military distinctions.
SNMCMG-2 is one of the four standing naval groups of NATO, with the role to provide allied naval presence during peace and to immediately intervene, in case of NATO Response Force is activated.
According to the SMFN release, Romania ensured, through the Romanian Nay Forces, for the first time, the command of a NATO naval group, which proves the recognition of Romanian militaries’ professionalism by the partners in the Alliance, as well as our nation capacity to be a security provider and a guarantor of stability in the extended region of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean basin.