(Google Translation) – On Saturday, August 8th, 2020 at 10 am, the mine-hunting boat “Grömitz” leaves its home port in Kiel. For the next two months, the boat will belong to the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1). The areas of operation of the multinational NATO association include the North and Baltic Seas.
After a two-week quarantine, the 40-strong crew made their way to the operational area under the command of Corvette Captain Philipp Palm (37). The boat and crew of the SNMCMG 1 will join them there. As a member of the association, you are part of the NATO Response Force, NATO’s rapid reaction force. With mine layers, anti-mine vehicles and command ships, the SNMCMG 1 is always on standby and, together with its international partners, practices all aspects of mine warfare.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming challenges and the opportunity to use our new skills again in a NATO unit. The crew have completed an intensive and demanding operational training program within the last ten months. This means that we are well prepared for the tasks ahead,” emphasized The Commander. “Especially under the current conditions it is a special challenge for all of us on board, but also for our families back home. Even if saying goodbye to relatives is even more difficult under these circumstances, we look forward to the time ahead Lake.”
The “Grömitz” is one of the most modern of its class in NATO, along with the mine-hunting boats “Bad Bevensen” and “Datteln”. In August of last year the Navy took over the first of the three newly equipped “mine hunters with anti-mine drones”, as the technical term is. Like other minehunters, they use sonar to search for objects underwater and identify and destroy them using remote-controlled underwater drones. Where the technology reaches its limits, the hunters use mine divers – in shallow water, in ports, or where mines are near pipelines or underwater cables. Another option, which is significantly less dangerous for the minehunter and crew, is the “seal” – a boat about 27 meters long and 4.60 meters wide, A magnetic coil is built into it and which sends sounds into the water by means of sound buoys. Magnetic fields and engine noises from ships can be simulated in order to trigger mines. The unmanned “seal” itself is not harmed and is controlled remotely from board the mine hunter.
The boat and crew will be replaced by another German mine hunter at the end of September and will be expected back at the Kiel naval base.