June 28, 2019 – Naval forces from Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1), commanded by Rear Adm. Edward Cashman have completed the 47th annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) and now look forward to the next exercise, Dynamic Mongoose.
BALTOPS is a joint, multinational maritime-focused operation providing a unique opportunity to build readiness across the full spectrum of military operations through the integration of maritime, air, amphibious, and mine countermeasure forces in a challenging and complex scenario, ultimately testing the forces’ ability to ensure the safety of sea-lanes and the security of the Baltic region.
SNMG1 highlighted NATO’s integration with allies and partner nations by operating together as one of the exercise task groups, securing the seas for amphibious task group operations, and partnering with Lithuania for a live Hellfire missile shoot.
“We completed around 40 serialized events,” said Canadian Lt. Cmdr. Richard Jenkins, a SNMG1 Staff Battle Watch Captain. “The serials ranged from air defense, anti-submarine, simulated surface engagements, joint personnel recovery and gunnery exercises. There was a lot of integration between forces which is crucial to providing lessons learned for future events when working together.”
As SNMG 1 wraps up BALTOPS 2019, they maintain their momentum and continue to demonstrate NATO’s commitment to maintaining capable maritime forces in a high state of readiness by transitioning directly to Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) in NATO’s exercise Dynamic Mongoose in July.
“We continually train to maintain our readiness, particularly since SNMG1 forms part of the maritime core of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (JTF). BALTOPS demonstrated that we’re ready to integrate with other national and NATO forces to respond to threats and ensure peace and stability in the region,” said Cashman. “Dynamic Mongoose will enable us to train against very capable sub-surface forces to ensure that our crews are able to respond to any potential threats, demonstrating NATOs commitment to the collective defense of all of the Allies.”
SNMG1 is currently composed of the U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, British frigate HMS Westminster, and Turkish frigate TCG Gokova and will be joined in Dynamic Mongoose by surface ships, submarines, and aircraft of several additional NATO nations. SNMG1 is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capability of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). They provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen interoperability and professional links among Allied naval forces.