The minehunter ‘Tambre’ departs Cartagena to join NATO’s Mediterranean battle grouping

M-33 ‘Tambre’ Minesweeper – SPANISH NAVY

The M-33 minehunter ‘Tambre’ departed this Tuesday from its base at the Cartagena Arsenal (Murcia) to begin its deployment as part of Counter Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG-2), one of the permanent groupings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Over the last year, the crew of the ‘Tambre’, which belongs to the Navy’s Countermine Measures Force, has been enlisted, trained and certified to carry out this mission, so its members “are fully prepared for the voyage they are about to begin”, according to Navy sources.

SNMCMG-2 is one of the components of the NATO Response Force. These groups provide a permanent maritime capability to respond to a potential crisis or conflict, or to carry out other types of activities in peacetime, such as presence in waters of interest to the Alliance, demonstrating solidarity with other countries, conducting diplomatic visits or enhancing NATO’s capabilities for future operations.

During the period that the ship will be part of this structure, its mission will be to ensure freedom of navigation at sea by clearing mines and explosive ordnance, and to monitor the seabed at the entrances to some ports of countries bordering the Mediterranean. In addition, it will be ready to react and act in the event of a crisis in those scenarios that require it.

The naval mine is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use weapon that can cause serious damage to commercial traffic. Moreover, historical mines from past conflicts are still lying at anchor today. Counter-routing is therefore a capability of great interest to the Navy.

The ‘Tambre’ will also support other international missions, such as the counter-terrorism operation (Operation Sea Guardian) in Mediterranean waters; it will participate in international exercises and will call at various foreign and national ports.

Throughout the period of the mission, the minehunter will represent the Navy as a NATO vessel.

The ‘Tambre’ is a ‘Segura’ class minehunter, whose main activity is the detection, identification and neutralisation of bottom and moored mines, as well as the survey and mapping of the seabed.

In addition to MCM (Mine Counter Measures) missions, the ship can also perform other activities such as maritime surveillance, training and operations with other Navy units, and participate in non-military activities such as SAR (search and rescue) and sunken object recovery.

As part of the MCM effort, the ‘Tambre’ can contribute to keeping Spain’s main ports and bases open, as well as paving the way for amphibious operations to project naval power ashore.

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