NATO Maritime Group completes Port Visit to Casablanca
From his flagship Captain Abdulhamit Sener hails farewell to MMR AZOUGAGH as she breaks away from the PASSEX.
Nisida, Naples, 14 March 2012: Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Group 2 (SNMCMG2) recently completed a four-day visit to the Moroccan capital Casablanca as part of the 2012 Mediterranean Dialogue Programme of Port Visits.
From 8 to 12 March, the Group carried out courtesy calls, receptions, and also visited the Moroccan Navy training centre where Lt. Elias Togas from the SNMCMG2 Staff gave a presentation about the MCM Group, the Mediterranean Dialogue Programme and Operation Active Endeavour.
"This was an extremely successful visit and reinforced again the privilege the Standing Maritime Groups have in being able to pay these port visits to Mediterranean Dialogue countries,” said Captain Abdulhamit Sener, Commander SNMCMG2. "We held a very well attended Press Conference and it was very satisfying to see the Moroccan media's keen interest in this MCM Group and NATO.”
As the ships left port on 12 March Moroccan Fast Patrol Boat MMR AZOUGAGH joined the Group in a Passage Exercise (PASSEX): NATO and Moroccan ships successfully carrying out a leadthrough operation, maneouvering exercise, MCM operations and handline transfer marked a fitting end to the visit.
The Commander of Maritime Command Naples, Vice Admiral Rinaldo VERI carried out a visit to Casablanca in the same timeframe which gave him the opportunity to participate in the Force Reception as well as carry out an official visit aboard the SNMCMG2 Flag Ship. He met with the senior leadership of the Moroccan Navy.
On 22 October 2009, NATO and Morocco signed an agreement on Operation Active Endeavour.