On Friday, 7 March 2014, Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) carried out a major damage control exercise near the island of Corfu. The exercise included a focus on basic seamanship exercises, including firefighting, steering gear breakdown, man overboard, medical casualty, speedboat manoeuvres and towing.
The exercise began with a simulated steering gear breakdown and fire on board FGS WEILHEIM. The ship’s company initially fought the simulated fire on their own until the exercise control determined that all remaining SNMCMG2 units should join in the simulation. SNMCMG2 staff coordinated support from the other units of the group. One firefighting team each was sent by HMS BROCKLESBY, ITS CHIOGGIA and FGS RHEIN to support WEILHEIM personnel.
Meanwhile, there were several simulated casualties on board WEILHEIM who required medical treatment, so Commander SNMCMG2 sent a medical support team from RHEIN to practice providing aid to the “injured.” While crewmembers of all units were fighting the simulated fire together, more casualties and a man overboard scenario were simulated on board Weilheim. Casualties with simulated injuries of varying severity were brought to Rhein, where they were treated by the Force Medical Officer and his assisting staff.
After the simulated fire had been extinguished, CHIOGGIA practiced towing WEILHEIM in the direction of the closest port. Meanwhile, as no helicopter was available during the exercise, Rhein headed towards the closest port to simulate taking the casualties to a hospital for further medical treatment.
“I am glad to see the procedures we have implemented work out and the units cooperate with each other quite well,” said SNMCMG2 Commander Matthias Seipel. “It was good to see the sailors of different nations working together to save the “damaged’ ship.”
Press Release, March 11, 2014, Image: NATO