Greece assumed the command of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2). During the handover ceremony, which took place at the Italian Naval Base La Spezia, Greek Commander Captain Fotios Paraskevas took over from his Italian colleague Commander Ettore Rongo.

The ceremony took place on board the General Support Ship “Hercules,” provided by the Hellenic Navy as the flagship. The event was attended by NATO Surface Forces Commander Rear Admiral Stefan D. Pauly on Friday, January 12.

According to the announcement by the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDGS), SNMCMG2 is one of the two permanently activated NATO maritime mine countermeasure forces, conducting mine countermeasure operations to ensure the security of maritime navigation under the control of NATO Maritime Command.

It provides the Alliance with the capability for immediate operational response (NATO Response Force – NRF) during periods of peace, crisis, and tension. The command of the force rotates among participating countries every six months.