Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) concluded its 5 months sea deployment under the command of Lithuanian Navy Officer, Commander Giedrius Premeneckas onboard the Lithuanian flagship LNS JOTVINGIS, and returned to Klaipėda, Lithuania.
LNS JOTVINGIS (Lithuania) accompanied by the ENS TALIVALDIS (Latvia) and LVNS SAKALA (Estonia) entered Klaipėda port on December 17, while the other six ships of the group have returned to their home bases. SNMCMG1 will be on high readiness until the handover of the command to the Royal Netherlands Navy in January 2015.
SNMCMG1 welcoming ceremony was attended by the Vice Minister of National Defence Mr. Antanas Valys, Commander of the Latvian Navy Captain (Navy) Juris Roze and Estonian Navy representative Commander Indrek Hanson.
Lithuania is the first of three Baltic States, which was entrusted to lead the NATO standing group by assigning commander, providing staff support ship LNS JOTVINGIS and staff personnel. Lithuanian Navy Officer was entrusted to lead the group of eight ships representing Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany.
Since the beginning of August 2014, NATO ships under command of Commander Premeneckas participated in a number of large-scale multinational exercises which included “NORTHERN COAST 2014” in the territorial waters of Finland, joint forces exercise “JOINT WARIOR 2014” held in the north-west coast of Scotland, mine clearance operation “FRENCH HODOPS “ off the French coast.
By demonstrating presence of Alliance in the region and solidarity, the ships visited many ports of NATO and partner countries such as Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands and France. While conducting transit between ports of visit, SNMCMG1 ships conducted various tactical training exercises.
Press release, Image: NATO MARCOM