German Navy minehunter FGS Dillingen will be departing its Kiel homeport on January 21 to join the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group (SNMCMG1) for a six-month deployment.
The vessel will first head for Zeebruge, Belgium, where it will join the international task group.
After Dillingen joins the group flagship HDMS Thetis and another Belgian minehunter in Zeebruge, the group will head for French waters for historic ordnance disposal operations. The group will later be joined by additional ships from the Netherlands, the UK and Norway.
One of the highlights of the deployment will be participation in the US-led BALTOPS exercise in the Baltic Sea in May.
The 44 crew of FGS Dillingen spent the past ten months preparing for the deployment and have completed the mine countermeasure vessel operational sea training (MOST) in Zeebrugge, Belgium.
SNMCMG1 is entering 2019 under new leadership following a change of command ceremony in Denmark on January 14. Royal Danish Navy Commander Peter Krogh assumed command of SNMCMG1 from Belgian Commander Peter Ramboer while HDMS Thetis assumed the group flagship role from Belgian Navy ship BNS Godetia.
SNMCMG1 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.