Baltic Beckons for Minehunter HMS Cattistock

October 3, 2019 – Off on a whistle-stop NATO assignment around the ports and inlets of the eastern Baltic for the next seven weeks is minehunter HMS Cattistock. The veteran Hunt-class ship departed not her native Portsmouth, but the less-familiar surroundings of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde after completing a demanding month of pre-deployment training. She’ll make her way eastwards over the next week before linking up with Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1, the NATO force dedicated to keeping the waters of northern Europe free of mines and historic ordnance.…

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HMS Ramsey Returns from SNMCMG1

August 12, 2019 – HMS Ramsey has returned home following a four-month NATO deployment. The HMNB Clyde-based Sandown- class minehunter was working with Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) in the Baltic and North Sea. Throughout the deployment, HMS Ramsey and her 40-strong crew have conducted maritime security, historical ordnance disposal and multinational exercises alongside the UK’s NATO maritime partners and allies. Deploying after a period of training with Flag Officer Sea Training, HMS Ramsey joined the task group in Gothenburg, Sweden before moving into the Baltic Sea. The…

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Weilheim Deploys From Kiel for SNMCMG1

July 24, 2019 (Google Translation) – On Monday, July 29, 2019 at 10 clock, the mine hunting boat “Weilheim” will leave the home port Kiel. Over the next four and a half months, the 3rd Mine Search Squadron boat will be under the responsibility of the NATO Mine Defense Association SNMCMG 1 (Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1), which is led by a Danish staff officer. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Sebastian Sauer (33), the 43-strong crew makes after a two-week sea phase initially on the way to the…

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Zierikzee Home From SNMCMG1 Deployment

June 26, 2019 (Google Translation) – HNLMS Zierikzee returned to Den Helder today. The minehunter has participated for 2 months in the NATO mine-fighting flotilla, the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG 1). SNMCMG 1 has been used for Beneficial Cooperation, among other things. The Zierikzee destroyed 3 mines north of the Wadden Islands. During this operation, SNMCMG 1 destroyed a total of 10 explosives. They were discovered at the beginning of this year during the search for the containers that had been knocked overboard at MS Zoë north…

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SNMCMG1 Destroys 10 Explosive Devices off West Frisian Islands

June 5, 2019 (Google Translation) – Together with NATO partners, HNLMS Zierikzee cleared 10 explosives off the Wadden Islands last week. It is rare for a mine clearance operation in the North Sea to produce so many culls. Sea mines from the Second World War were found earlier this year during the search for the dumped containers of the MS Zoë container ship . The naval ships HNLMS Luymes and HNLMS Vlaardingen assisted with that search. A few sea mines were close to pipelines and cables and were taken to…

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SNMG-1 and SNMCMG-1 Visit Plymouth

March 21, 2019 – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG) 1 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group One (SNMCMG) 1 completed a scheduled port visit to Plymouth, England. While in Plymouth, crewmembers immersed themselves in the city’s rich maritime history and culture, and engaged with local community members through office calls, local media interviews, ship tours and community relations (COMREL) events. Thirteen Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), SNMG-1’s flagship, visited Plympton Academy in Plymouth to interact and read with students. “It was very flattering to host…

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NATO Trains to Keep Sea Lanes Clear

February 11, 2019 – The sea lanes are vital to the health and wellbeing of a nation. These strategic byways allow trade, travel and the movement of resources. NATO maintains two groups of mine countermeasures ships ready to respond to a crisis if needed. In order to maintain a high level of readiness, NATO conducts training exercises to keep Sailor’s skills sharp. Over the past two weeks, more than 160 naval personnel from 21 NATO and Partner nations met at the NATO Mine Countermeasures School (EGUERMIN), in Oostende, Belgium to…

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US and Denmark take command of two NATO naval groups

January 16, 2019 – A US Navy Admiral has assumed command of NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1, taking over from a Royal Danish Navy Commodore. In a ceremony marking the hand-over in Copenhagen on Monday (14 January 2019), Rear Admiral Edward Cashman of the US Navy said: “The North Atlantic is a bridge that connects the Allies, not a barrier that separates them. That connectivity is even stronger today and more important than ever to our security and to our prosperity.” Rear Admiral Cashman will command the group…

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SNMCMG1 countermines 2 WWII mines during Trident Juncture

October 31, 2018 – Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) under the command of Commander Peter RAMBOER of the Belgian Navy located and destroyed two mines from World War II while conducting training as a part of Trident Juncture 2018. While the group was practicing clearing sea routes for an amphibious assault the Norwegian minehunter KNM Maaloey detected two historical mines. After inspection with a remote under water vehicle they were identified as British airdropped mines from World War II. Norwegian authorities granted permission to destroy the historical…

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NATO Ships Visit Klaipeda

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:…

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BALTOPS 2018 Daily Update: June 13

Rear Adm. Guy Robinson, OBE, Royal Navy, deputy commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, traveled to the Gabya-class frigate TCS Gediz (F-495) to meet with her crew. A German P-3 Orion, United States P-8 Poseidon and E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) conducted a combined anti-submarine exercise with Sdermanland-class submarine HSwMS Sdermanland. Mine countermeasure drills finished today with ships from the Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group (SNMCMG) 1 completing all exercise mine hunting requirements. The Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Frankfurt…

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NATO Ships Visit Klaipeda

Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) under the command of Commander Peter Ramboer of the Belgian Navy arrived Klaipeda, Lithuania May 31st 2018. The group is conducting a routine port visit to Klaipeda as part of their annual schedule of operations. Planned activities include courtesy calls with local authorities and preparations for BALTOPS 18, the premier maritime exercise in the Baltic Sea region. The visit is a visible demonstration of NATO’s continuous presence in the Baltic Sea. Prior to the visit in Klaipeda, the group took part in…

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HMS Ramsey sails to join NATO Task Force

HMS Ramsey sailed from her base port of HMNB Clyde to join the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) on a rare dry and fine morning in Faslane last week. As part of the UK’s commitment to NATO, Ramsey joins SNMCMG1 as part of a multi-national Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Group providing the NATO Response Force Commanders with a fully-integrated MCM capability for operations. This also includes the responsibility for disposal of historical ordnance left over from conflicts in the Northern European maritime region, as well as participation in exercises…

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NATO Participating in Open Spirit Historical Mine Clearance Operation

May 11, 2018 – Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) is joining mine countermeasures vessels and experts from multiple nations in Tallinn, Estonia to conduct historical ordnance clearance operation Open Spirit in the waters near Estonia. Open Spirit is held each year in the Baltic Sea and organized by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a rotating basis and is designed to clear historical sea mines and other live ordnance on the seafloor left over from the First and Second World Wars. The operation also serves as an opportunity for…

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NATO Ships Locate Mines from WWII

Ships from Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) and the Royal Norwegian Navy located 23 mines from World War II four torpedoes in the waters of Oslo Fjord over the last two weeks. Conducting mine identification and neutralization in the freezing waters of Oslo Fjord, sometimes dipping to two degrees Celsius, demonstrates the capabilities of the ships to operate under these conditions to ensure safe access to harbors and sea lanes. Commander Peter Ramboer of the Belgian Navy led the efforts from the group flagship HNLMS Mercuur, working with…

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