Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 has concluded a 9-day joint training programme with Estonian forces.
NATO say in a release that the exercise gathered 7 ships from 4 nations as well as several smaller surface crafts, airplanes and helicopters in the Baltic Sea.
SNMCMG1 currently consists of the German flagship and replenishment vessel Donau, the Norwegian minesweeper Otra, the German minehunter Fulda and the British minehunter HMS Ramsey.
In addition, the Estonian mine countermeasure vessels Wambola, Admiral Cowan, Ugandi and airborne assets from the Estonian Air Force took part in the joint exercise.
“The first part of the training focused on naval mine countermeasures, in the form of Historical Ordnance Disposal Operations (HODOPS) off the coast of Estonia. In total, the group together with the Estonian mine countermeasure vessels covered an area of 44 square nautical miles and identified 180 mine-like objects. Of them, 3 historical mines were neutralised.”
“One thing is having a lot of different assets which are good alone, but getting the assets to operate and function together needs training. During the days in Estonia we enhanced our interoperability, and proved that NATO operations are almost plug and play when we work on same procedures and frequencies”, said Commander SNMCMG1, Henning Knudsen-Hauge.