Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups ONE and TWO (SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2) arrived in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Friday, March 6, in advance of historic ordnance disposal (HOD) operation BENEFICIAL COOPERATION.
Simultaneous participation by both Groups in HOD operations represents a great opportunity to increase interoperability between Mine Countermeasures (MCM) assets of Allied nations and to strengthen mutual understanding, cooperation and cohesion.
The two SNMCMGs will take part in a series of activities aimed to clear the sea bottom of mines, bombs, and torpedoes from previous wars off Dutch and Belgian coasts. Unexploded ordnance (UXO) can jeopardize the safety of civilian and military maritime operations alike. The SNMCMGs will be focused on searching, identifying and subsequently neutralizing UXO.
HOD operations also represent an opportunity to test Autonomous Underwater Vehicles’ (AUV) effectiveness in challenging conditions characterized by strong tidal currents and poor underwater visibility. On board ITS Euro, a team of specialized divers will work with a “REMUS 100” AUV for searching and classifying HOD.
Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier, Deputy Commander NATO Allied Maritime Command, said:
These HOD operations not only sharpen the skills of our Allied mine counter-measures forces, but also make the coastal waters of our Allies safer for all maritime traffic.