The German 5th Minesweeper Squadron, with two minesweepers, one minehunter, salvage tug Fehrman and four Seehund above-water drones, is currently conducting the three-week long exercise Squadex.
The exercise aims to enhance the units’ mine countermeasures skills as well as their maneuvering and navigational skills.
The first week was marked by classic mine-warfare activities. The activities included not only the removal of mines, but also minelaying. A total of 12 mines were planted, eight anchor mines and four seafloor mines.
Minesweepers Pegnitz and Siegburg used the veil of the night to plant the mines for each other to subsequently find. Both ships used above- and underwater drones, “Seehund” and “Seefuchs” respectively, to locate the mines.
Despite of bad weather conditions, the ships were successful in their search and the salvage tug Fehrman was able to fish the mines out of the Baltic Sea.
After the mines had been safe on board, the ships Pegnitz, Siegburg and Herten headed for the Copenhagen port, Denmark. On their way to Copenhagen, the ships conducted maneuvering exercises in the small Øresund strait.
After sailing out of Copenhagen, the squadron settled in the cove of the Danish island Serejö to resume their exercise in a wind and commercial ship free area.
The second week of the exercise was dedicated to officer qualifications in the field of seamanship.
The Staff Officer responsible for the 5th Squadron during the exercise, Frigate Captain Daniel Reuter, said he was pleased with the performance of the participating units’ performance.
The challenging weather forced us to repeatedly change schedules. All in all, there is still a lot to do training-wise. If you go out to sea in November, you have to expect bad weather. It is important that you adapt to it, stay flexible and try and find personal and material limits . Our units did that well!
Naval Today Staff