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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2022

USS Forrest Sherman arrives in Souda Bay, Crete for port visit

By Lt. Kathleen Barrios, USS Forrest Sherman Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) arrived in Souda Bay, Crete for a scheduled port visit, August 8, 2022.

Throughout the past week and a half, Forrest Sherman conducted operations with Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón (F-102) of the Spanish Navy, Barbaros-class frigate TCG Kemalreis (F-247) of the Turkish Navy, and Kortenaer-class frigate HS Kountouriotis (F462) of the Hellenic Navy.

Together as members of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), the ships in the task group performed unique and tactical events such as live fire gunnery exercises, electronic warfare exercises, air defense exercises, and communication exercises. While operating together provides for increased interoperability and improved communications during dynamic exercises, it also directly supports the purpose and principles outlined in the 2022 NATO Strategic Concept.

NATO Heads of State and Government approved a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance in Madrid on June 29, 2022, setting out the Alliance’s priorities, core tasks and approaches for the next decade. The Strategic Concept describes the security environment facing the Alliance, reaffirms NATO’s values, and spells out NATO’s key purpose of ensuring our collective defense. It further sets out NATO’s three core tasks of deterrence and defense; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.

The previous Strategic Concept was adopted at the NATO Lisbon Summit in 2010. Since the end of the Cold War, it has been updated approximately every 10 years to account for changes to the global security environment and to make sure the Alliance is prepared for the future.

“Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) is dedicated to put into practice the core tasks outlined in the Strategic Concept,” said Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, commander, SNMG2. “By operating as one team in the Mediterranean, we prioritize focusing on continuous improvement as our adversaries rapidly increase capabilities and demonstrate intent to threaten our national interests. The Alliance is stronger together and we will continue to demonstrate how our combat-credible, forward deployed fleet is the most potent, flexible and versatile instrument of military power. Just as we succeed when we operate together at sea, port visits also are key opportunities to continue to build those vital relationships with our Allies and Partners.”

While in port Souda Bay, Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of tours across the island of Crete, while enjoying local foods, art, history and outdoor activities. Additionally, there will be two community relations (COMREL) events at Kalathas and Stalos beaches where Sailors will assist in a clean-up effort.

“Forrest Sherman Sailors and our NATO allies in SNMG2 are on the leading edge of the Chief of Naval Operations’ Navigation Plan 2022,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Heyworth IV, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98). “This task group is strengthening integrated deterrence and strengthening strategic partnerships every day we sail together.”

USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) is the flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat and provides the Alliance with a continuous maritime capability to perform a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.