NATO naval forces, led by the Estonian Navy, have successfully carried out Operation Open Spirit 24, a minesweeping exercise designed to clear explosive remnants of war in the Baltic Sea.

The operation, which initially started in 1998, rotates annually between Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, focusing on enhancing maritime safety and demonstrating NATO’s commitment to securing the Baltic region.

This year’s operation took place in Estonian territorial waters and its economic zone, involving a total of 14 ships, 11 shore-based divers, underwater drone teams, and over 700 naval personnel from Estonia and various Allied nations.

Among the participating vessels was the Finnish Navy’s MHC Vahterpää, marking its first deployment under NATO command as part of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1).

Lieutenant Commander Henri Savisaari, commander of MHC Vahterpää, highlighted the significance of their participation: “We joined a NATO detachment for the first time, which means that our tasks and responsibilities in the detachment are now different. We receive our orders from the Commander of SNMCMG1 and carry them out with the same professionalism and uncompromising attitude as we do when carrying out missions at home.”

During the course of Open Spirit 24, the teams successfully identified 35 historic explosives, successfully clearing 30 of them. These operations are not only critical for the safe navigation in the Baltic Sea but also serve as valuable training for NATO forces in mine warfare techniques.

The current composition of SNMCMG1 includes seven vessels from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and an explosive ordnance diving team from Latvia, with the German FGS Donau serving as the flagship.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_816548)
21 days ago

Some of the stuff they find is WW1 let alone WW2…and they keep finding stuff year on year

Sjb1968
Sjb1968 (@guest_816558)
21 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I did read that the combined number from both world wars is near 1 million. A staggering number and despite obviously a lot of effort clearing them post war there seems to be no end in sight in finding them.

David Owen
David Owen (@guest_816559)
21 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

If any Russian mines ,putin will demand their return for the special operation,

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_817227)
18 days ago
Reply to  David Owen

Ok. Will mail for attention of putin at the Kremlin. Detonator ready.

David Owen
David Owen (@guest_817236)
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Exactly 💯 percent behind you on that one lol 😆 😂 🤣, have a great day