Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) have conducted three days of training off the coast of Latvia and Estonia.
SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 are two of four NATO Standing Naval Forces on continuous active duty. As the core of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Maritime), they provide constant high-readiness maritime capabilities that can quickly respond across the full spectrum of operations in support of any NATO operations.
“Our interactions in the Baltic Sea demonstrated NATO unity, readiness and steadfast commitment to the region’s collective defence and served as a powerful deterrent to potential aggressors,” said Commodore Bradley Peats, Commander of SNMG1.
“High levels of interoperability between NATO Allies and partners depends on mutual familiarity, trust and confidence in each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures as well as each other’s capabilities and platforms. This interoperability pays dividends when we have to work seamlessly with each other to successfully achieve mission objectives during peacetime as well as during times of crisis and conflict.”
Among the interaction highlights was a temporary exchange of personnel (i.e. “crosspols”) between the two Forces on the final two days of interactions. Small boats transferred designated personnel back and forth between SNMG1 unit, HMCS Halifax, and SNMCMG1 units BNS Godetia, ENS Ugandi and FGS Datteln. NATO say in a news release that these personnel then job shadowed their counterparts for the day, toured the ships and established personnel and professional relationships.
“These crosspols provided excellent professional development opportunities for the participants, allowing them to experience naval operations and daily life on board different Allied nations’ vessels,” said Commander Jan Wijchers, Commander of SNMCMG1.
“Additionally, it broadened our common knowledge and understanding of the distinct roles and responsibilities of each SNF as well as the value they bring to the Alliance when it comes to defending NATO’s citizens and territorial integrity.”