Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 visits Sweden

Photo courtesy of NATO MARCOM

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) visited Sweden between 19-23 March 2021.

The visit included a training program at sea with three mine countermeasures vessels from the Swedish Navy. This NATO visit is part of our routine deployment in the Baltic Sea region, NATO Maritime Command announced with a press release.

During the four-day interaction, SNMCMG1 units were challenged in simulated force protection by a Swedish combat boat, as well as mine hunting, seamanship and navigation scenarios. In between training, SNMCMG1 units were anchored in the port of Karlskrona.

Sweden is one of NATO’s closest and most active partners. Every year, NATO units train with Sweden, increasing mutual interoperability and sharing knowledge on the strategically important Baltic Sea region.

“These exercises proved that interoperability with Sweden’s forces, at least in the maritime domain, is essentially already in place and, when necessary, we can work fruitfully together to relieve crises and enhance peace and security anywhere in the world,” said Commander of SNMCMG1, Commander Jan Wijchers.

SNMCMG1 assets on training (Credit: NATO MARCOM)

After the completion of the exercise series a ceremonial steam-past was conducted with the Swedish units to express thanks and appreciation of the well-organised training program.

SNMCMG1 continues its deployment in the Baltic Sea and for the next few weeks will operate in the vicinity of the Latvian coast for Historical Ordnance Disposal Operations (HODOPS). SNMCMG1 conducted HODOPS in the Danish waters near the coast of Lolland and Langeland 3-11 March 2021.

SNMCMG1 is one of four standing NATO forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). Also, SNMCMG1 is one of two specialist naval mine countermeasures groups. Its mission is to provide the NATO Response Force with a continuously available standing naval element, ready for operations in peacetime, crisis or conflict. SNMCMG1 contributes to the maintenance of freedom of navigation and secure maritime transport. It supports the principle of cooperative security by flying the NATO flag and by serving as professional mariners.