NATO’s annual mine countermeasure (MCM) exercise Dynamic Move (DME17) which saw the participation of over 15 countries, including Partnership for Peace (PFP) countries, Finland and Sweden, concluded Friday, February 10.
The two-week drill was organized by the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and aimed to enhance interoperability and build proficiency in conducting MCM operations in littoral waters while validating NATO experimental tactics (EXTAC).
This year more than 150 participants split into three task groups, training separately, in parallel computer-simulated scenarios. Participants conducted initial planning of operations, followed by executing the naval MCM operations in a scenario-based environment.
Additionally, participants received training on force protection, experimental MCM tactics, logistics, rules of engagement, maritime law, media relations, and commercial shipping guidance to build upon knowledge and skillsets the trainees already possess.
“When it comes down to it, the use of military judgement is not old-fashioned at all. Even though we have tools to do the calculations for us, we still have the chance to come up with the final assessment based on our experience and based on the knowledge we have gained in the operation,” said Lieutenant Martin Thomsen (DMK-N), a mine warfare officer.
While training is the exercise’s primary objective, EXTAC validation and tactic development is also an important aspect of DME17.
“Exercises like this are critical to developing, testing and validating new tactics and approaches to mine warfare,” said Diane Kosky (US Navy), a lead MCM tactician. “They also provide a unique opportunity to review and improve on existing ones.”
Interoperability amongst participating NATO and PFP members remains a key indicator of the exercise’s success.
“We can see that the exercise is enhancing our NATO and PFP interoperability,” said Lieutenant Erik Sjöberg (SWE-N), operations officer on HMS Spårö. “You have a multinational task group of people – people who have never met before – who can successfully carry out the MCM mission together.”