Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) and the Baltic Naval Squadron have neutralized 32 sea mines, during the two week exercise “Open Spirit 2020”, making the seas safer for all modern seafarers.
SNMCMG1 continues its Baltic Sea deployment and took part in exercise “Open Spirit 2020” between 4-14 May. The exercise focused on Naval Mine Warfare, and its main objective was to remove historical ordnances from the seabed. The exercise gathered in total ten ships from five nations.
The task group investigated 642 mine-like objects. Some were actual historical mine ordinances and 32 were neutralised. The destruction of these mines ensures that they no longer pose a threat to modern seafarers. In total an area of 25 square nautical miles was covered.
The destruction of these mines ensures that they no longer pose a threat to modern seafarers
“The Baltic Sea is of high strategic importance for NATO and its partner nations, and therefore also a highly prioritized area of operation”, said Henning Knudsen-Hauge, Commander Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One. “Once again close cooperation between NATO and the Baltic Naval Squadron gives results. The high numbers of mines identified and countermined, even 75 years after the war, says something about the expertise and professionalism within our task group. I am proud of the numbers we report back to the Latvian Authorities”, he added.
The exercise “Open Spirit” is carried out annually and the Baltic countries Latvia, Lithuania and Estonian take turns hosting it. This year the exercise was led by the Latvian Navy.
SNMCMG1 acted as commander task unit and had in total six ships from Germany, Netherlands, and Norway under their command, working side by side with the other task unit, which were three Latvian navy ships and one Estonian minehunter.
SNMCMG1 is currently under Norwegian command, consisting of the German Flagship FGS Donau and the mine countermeasure vessels HNOMS Otra, HNLMS Willemstad and FGS Fulda. In addition, they had FGS Datteln, FGS Weilheim and FGS Grömitz in their task unit during the exercise.
Based on a press release from SNMCMG1