September 27, 2019 (Google Translation) – For almost two weeks, from 6 to 18 September 2019, the Allied navies trained in the Baltic Sea as part of a scenario created from scratch. The Task Force 356 was established as part of the year “NOCO19” Northern Coasts 2019 . The international exercise was organized by Germany and brought together allied countries of the zone (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden).
The aim was twofold: to operate as a task force set up in a coastal zone with restricted and frequented spaces and to train in the multi-struggle field. Ultimately , NOCO19 helped to improve interoperability and cooperation between Allied countries around the Baltic Sea.
For NOCO19, the South Cross mine hunter was integrated into Task Unit (TU) 356.02.01, a maritime force consisting mainly of 8 SNMCMG1 mine hunters ( Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One ). The mission of this force specializing in mine warfare is to detect and neutralize the mines in the shipping lanes, allowing the safe passage of maritime convoys.
The Southern Cross contributed to the success of the mission by finding six mines and neutralizing a 490-kg World War II mine.
During this international exercise, Vice Admiral Jean-Louis Lozier traveled to Rostock, Germany, from 10 to 11 September, as Commander of the Atlantic Maritime Area. Invited by Vice-Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of Staff of the German Navy, Vice-Admiral Jean-Louis Lozier was able to exchange during these two days with various authorities of the European and foreign navies, reaffirming our strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between allied power.
The Baltic Sea has become a space with major strategic stakes for France and Europe. Nearly 200,000 French nationals live today in this area of Northern Europe. France has significantly strengthened its presence in the region since 2014, notably by contributing actively to NATO reinsurance measures. Its three military components are now engaged in the Baltic: enhanced forward presence (EFP), sky policing missions and regular deployment of surface ships and maritime patrol aircraft.