Joint Warrior 161 under way

Ships from two NATO maritime groups joined nearly 30 surface and sub-surface assets from Allied nations for the start of the UK exercise, Joint Warrior 161 (JW 161) April 10.

Air and land forces will also participate in the two-week long, bi-annual exercise.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) will take part in honing the warfighting capabilities of participants through a range of realistic scenarios, including political and military crisis and conflict, in a joint, simulated multi-threat environment.

Skills are tested at every level, from the command group to the unit, while strengthening interoperability across the maritime, air and land environments. Participants will train on a variety of competencies, including maritime task force training, antisubmarine and anti-surface warfare, maritime security operations and media engagement.

SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 will participate in JW 161 in command roles, building upon the solid foundation already achieved by continuous at-sea operations and multinational training exercises.

“Joint Warrior is an excellent opportunity for NATO’s Standing Naval Forces to exercise with multiple air, land, surface and sub-surface assets on a very large scale,” said Commodore Arian Minderhoud, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Allied Maritime Command. “I’m confident our two groups participating will do very well in this exercise; continuing to grow the capabilities they use every day.”

SNMG1 currently consists of the Spanish flagship F100 Class Frigate ESPS Álvaro de Bazan, the United Kingdom Type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke, and the Danish Iver Huitfeldt Class Frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes.

JW 161 becomes the second main exercise for SNMG1‘s this year, after the Group´s participation in Cold Response 16, off the coast of Norway, last month. Rear Admiral José Enrique Delgado (ESP), Commander SNMG1, will command a maritime task group during JW 161.

SNMCMG1 is currently led by Commander Martin Schwarz (GER), and is comprised of flagship FGS Donau, HMS Ramsey, FGS Dillingen, BNS Primula, HNoMS Otra, and HNLMS Vlaardingen. Most recently the staff of SNMCMG1 participated in the mine counter measure command post exercise, Dynamic Move 16.

“After a period of growing together as a group, I am looking forward to a large scale exercise,” said Commander Schwarz. “Joint Warrior 161 will provide the opportunity to interact with other ships and to enhance the understanding of mine warfare in the wider naval community as no area of naval warfare can stand for itself.”

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