October 16, 2018 – Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) under the command of Commander Peter Ramboer of the Belgian Navy visited in Klaipeda, Lithuania on October 12th to 15th 2018.
The group made a routine port visit to Klaipeda as part of their annual schedule of operations. Planned activities included courtesy calls with local authorities, a force reception and ships opened to visitors. The visit is a visible demonstration of NATO’s continuous presence to ensure national sovereignty through Collective Defense.
On the occasion Commander Peter Ramboer said: “I’m most grateful for returning to the Baltic Sea, after our visit last spring. With ships of six different NATO countries we stand ready to work with our allies in the Baltic States.” Commander SNMCMG2 concluded saying ”Our priority is to keep sea lines of communication safe and secure. SNMCMG1 will take this opportunity to further practice and develop our mine counter measures skills in support of the Alliance.”
The group has left Wismar Germany heading Klaipeda before joining NATO Naval forces for their participation in NATO Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018. This year SNMCMG1 has conducted mine clearance operations in Oslo fjord, German Bight, the coast of France, the UK and the Baltic. Currently the group consists of 6 ships: BNS Godetia (command and supply ship from Belgium), HNOMS Maaloey (mine hunter from Norway), LVNS Rusins (mine hunter from Latvia), LNS Kursis (mine hunter from Lithuania), HNLMS Makkum (minehunter from The Netherlands) and FGS Homburg (mine hunter from Germany).
SNMCMG 1 is part of the enhanced high readiness NATO Reaction Force and provides a crucial element to NATO’s capabilities. When not activated by NATO, SNMCMG1 takes part in different multinational exercises and trains with NATO members and partners.