Winnipeg integrates with NATO allies


After months of trials, high-readiness preparations, and many personnel and equipment related challenges, HMCS Winnipeg officially joined Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 15.

Winnipeg joined the task group as part of Operation Reassurance, Canada’s commitment to NATO assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

 “Our team lives by the ship’s motto ‘one with the strength of many’ and I am proud to say that Winnipeg’s strength now extends to our NATO allies,” said Commander (Cdr) Pascal Belhumeur, Commanding Officer of Winnipeg.

While in Palma de Mallorca, Winnipeg’s crew and command team met with SNMG2 Command (flag) ship, Federal German Ship (FGS) Hamburg, as well as Spanish Ship (SPS) Cantabria and SPS Santa Maria for the first time.

In addition to holding planning meetings, FGS Hamburg crew hosted the task group’s first diplomatic engagement event, and all SNMG2 ships were open for public tours to local residents and tourists.

“It was an honour to meet with all of the international SNMG2 ships that we will be working with,” said Rear-Admiral (RAdm)  Jorg Klein, Commander of SNMG2.

“Our assembly in Palma de Mallorca marks the start of our efforts as a team and I am certain that our working relationships will grow stronger over the coming months.”

Each ship sailed into Palma harbour on July 15 as individual units, and on July 20, SNMG2 sailed out of Palma harbour as a well-disciplined and professional NATO task group.

SNMG2 is now in the Mediterranean Sea conducting fleet integration training to build team cohesiveness and they stand ready to provide necessary support to our NATO Allies.

SLt Jamie Tobin
HMCS Winnipeg

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