SANDY COAST 20: Securing Maritime Approaches

September 4, 2020 (Google Translation) – From August 31 to September 11, 2020, the Tripartite Mine Hunter (CMT) L’Aigle is deployed in the North Sea as part of the second component “securing maritime approaches” of NATO’s combined operational training Sandy Coast 20 .

This new phase of the exercise features the deployment of a multinational force which must allow the free movement of goods and people, hampered by the establishment of naval mines by a fictitious terrorist group off and in territorial waters. Belgian.

Scenario : Following several fictitious terrorist attacks, NATO has launched an operation and deployed a fleet of 15 vessels specializing in mine warfare.

Under the command of a NATO staff based jointly in Belgium and the Netherlands, the participating nations are France with the tripartite minehunter L’Aigle as well as Belgium (three ships), the Netherlands (one on-board staff and four buildings), Lithuania (one on-board staff and one building), Latvia (one building), Germany (one building), Norway (one building), Estonia ( one building), Finland (one building) and Denmark (two buildings). Part of these buildings constitutes the SNMCMG1 [1] group of NATO.

These units are hard at work to neutralize the submarine threat in order to secure maritime approaches and ensure navigation by thwarting any illegal activity in the vicinity and in Belgian territorial waters and thus allow safe access to the port.

The mine hunter went on to mine hunting operations in the unusual environment represented by Belgian territorial waters (low visibility, strong sea current and the presence of a multitude of civilian vessels [2] …), under asymmetric threat: research underwater using sonar, mine detection by underwater drone (PAP) and by diver as well as obstruction removal.

This inter-allied training highlights the expertise of the French Navy and its allies in the field of mine warfare, helps strengthen the interoperability of French Navy units with its European partners and the Atlantic Alliance and emphasizes our ability to act, together, on all the seas of the world as well as on the approaches to Europe.

SANDY COAST 20 is an allied NATO mine warfare training that takes place from August 20 to September 11, 2020 in the North Sea, off the Belgian coast. It is made up of two major components: a first relating to port protection with the participation of the group of mine clearance divers from the Channel (GPD Manche) and their base building, the Vulcain, and a second component concerning the securing of maritime approaches with the participation of the Tripartite Mine Hunter (CMT) L’Aigle . 10 nations are taking part in this major exercise bringing together 17 surface units, 4 staffs for a total of 650 soldiers on land and at sea.

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