Warship deployed to two standing NATO maritime groups arrived in Plymouth on Friday for an informal port visit and an opportunity to take part in Royal Navy’s renowned Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).
Led by Norwegian Navy Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist, visiting ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) include flagship HNoMS Roald Amundsen together with Belgian frigate BNS Louise-Marie, German tanker FGS Spessart, and Spanish frigate ESPS Reina Sofia.
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One ships are led by Estonian Navy Commander Johan-Elias Seljamaa from aboard the Estonian flagship ENS Admiral Cowan. Other ships in the group include British minehunter HMS Ramsey, Belgian minehunter BNS Narcis, Dutch mine countermeasures vessel HNLMS Schiedam, and Norwegian minehunter HNoMS Hinnøy.
“During the upcoming period, we will support FOST as an opposing force to the ships undertaking their certification training,” said Commodore Sandquist. “We are looking forward to working closely with our Allies in an advanced warfare training environment.”
Since the change of command on Jan. 14, with Spain handing over command to Norway, SNMG1 has led and participated in exercises off the coast of Norway, which provided an opportunity to improve interoperability with other NATO and Allied partners.
“Our mission is first and foremost to provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and periods of crisis and conflict,” said Commodore Sandquist.
During the port visit Standing NATO Force leadership will meet with local authorities. The two maritime groups consisting of nine warships will join the FOST from March 6 to 14.