German tender gathers Lithuanian, Estonian ships for NATO’s mine countermeasure task force

German Navy tender Elbe. Photo: PIZ Marine

German Navy tender Elbe departed her homeport in Warnemünde, Germany on July 14 to meet up with Estonian and Lithuanian ships before they join NATO’s standing mine countermeasure group 1 (SNMCMG1).

The tender is to meet with the Estonian minehunter Sakala and the Lithuanian patrol boat Skalvis in Kiel, Germany from where the three ships are set to join the NATO task force on July 18.

They will mostly be operating in the Baltic and the North Sea. Elbe will serve as the operations center for the mission.

Estonian frigate captain Johan Seljama will be in charge of the force composed of Estonian, Belgian, Dutch and German sailors.

SNMCMG1 is scheduled to participate in a number of international maneuvers including Northern Coast, Joint Warrior and Open Spirit.

The German Navy tender, crewed by 66 sailors, will  serve as the flagship of the SNMCMG1 for the next four months.

“I am confident that our deployment will be a success,”  Corvette Captain Stefan Meier said.

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