NATO’s SNMCMG1 returns to Baltic Sea operations

WISMAR (Germany) Oct. 05. 2018. SNMCMG1 vessels come alongside in Wismar for a port visit as per their routine presence in the Baltic. Photo: SNMCMG1 - A. Goossens

Ships from NATO’s Standing Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) transited the Kiel Canal and arrived in Wismar, Germany, October 5, returning to the Baltic Sea for another routine patrol.

The SNMCMG1 visit to Wismar included courtesy calls with local authorities, a force reception and ships open to visitors. The public was welcome to visit the ships on October 6 and 7.

“The SNMCMG1 is most happy to return to the Baltic Sea with ships of six different NATO countries,” said Commander Peter Ramboer of the Belgian Navy and Commander of SNMCMG1. “In the group we stand ready to keep the waterways of the Baltic safe and secure. We will certainly have the opportunity to sharpen our mine countermeasures skills when working on historic minefields of the first and second world war in the weeks to come.”

The group has been on underway since January this year and conducted mine clearance operations in Oslo Fjord, the German Bight, the coast of France, the UK and the Baltic Sea.

Currently, the group consists of 6 ships: Belgian command and supply ship BNS Godetia, Norwegian mine hunter HNoMS Maaloey, Latvian mine hunter LVNS Rusins, Lithuanian mine hunter LNS Kursis, Dutch minehunter HNLMS Makkum and German mine hunter FGS Homburg.

SNMCMG 1 is part of the enhanced high readiness NATO Reaction Force and provides a crucial element to NATO’s capabilities. When not activated as part of the NATO Reaction Force, SNMCMG1 takes part in different multinational exercises and trains with NATO members and partners to ensure readiness and enhance interoperability.

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