November 27, 2020 (Google Translation) – Mine control vessel HNLMS. Schiedam is back after 3 months from a successful deployment on the Baltic Sea. The purpose of the trip was to clear explosives and to practice with ships from other countries. Together with mine hunters from Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Norway, Hr.Ms. Schiedam the fleet association Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1 (SNMCMG1). The ships found 44 explosives.
There are still many mines and other explosives from the First and Second World War in the sea. To keep it safe for transport and fishing vessels, Hr.Ms. Schiedam participates in the Historic Ordnance Disposal operations. Explosives are thus detected and destroyed.
In addition to this operational mission, Hr.Ms. Schiedam conducts exercises to keep the ship and crew up to standard individually and in an international context. “With calamity control and mine hunting drills, we remain ready for safety on and from the sea, even in times of crisis,” indicated Lieutenant Commander Gerben Koren.
The measures that the crew had to adhere to to prevent COVID contamination on board were quite strict. On the other hand, the corona-free ‘bubble’ offered the opportunity to establish contacts and network with the people on board of the other ships.
The fleet group SNMCMG1 is part of the NATO Response Force. The Royal Netherlands Navy regularly supplies mine hunters to NATO for rapidly deployable fleet groups. The main task of SNMCMG1 is to keep the sea, coastal waters and harbor mouths free of mines during military operations.