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Mediterranean mine hunters moored in London's Docklands

PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:06 05 October 2010

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NATO MINESWEEPERS are moored in the Docklands this Bank Holiday Weekend, around a thousand miles away from their normal home in the Mediterranean. The fleet of four ships from the NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2) is berthed at West India Doc

NATO MINESWEEPERS are moored in the Docklands this Bank Holiday Weekend, around a thousand miles away from their normal home in the Mediterranean.

The fleet of four ships from the NATO Mine Counter Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2) is berthed at West India Dock until Tuesday under the command of Italian Navy officer Captain Patrizio Rapalino.

Gareth Stephens, British Waterways' harbour and water space manager, said: "It's a real honour to host the ships here in Docklands.

"It's great to have a range of different vessels in the Docks, as they make the water space a more vibrant and interesting place.

"At the moment we've got the NATO vessels moored in West India Dock alongside some really stunning yachts."

The SNMCMG2 is a multinational, integrated maritime Force made up of ships from various NATO Nations, training and operating together as a single team permanently on call to perform a wide range of tasks from exercises to real world operations. Usually the SNMCMG2 calls the Mediterranean its home, but is required to be available anywhere NATO requests to deploy.

The visit to London by the unit, which is made up of ITS Granatiere, an Italian frigate which hosts the group's command staff and three mine hunter vessels, ESPS Segura from Spain, TCG Amasra from Turkey, and ITS Rimini from Italy, is the first since its activation in 1999.

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