Minehunter “Rottweil” left Kiel on January 11, under the command of Lieutenant Captain Oliver Kieling, heading for Oslo. There it joins the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) on. It will also become part of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) for the North and Baltic Seas.
The commander of the 3rd minesweeper squadron, frigate captain Carsten Schlueter, puts it in a nutshell: “Whereas until now exercises such as the clearance of contaminated sites and representation were the order of the day, it is now a question of credible deterrence, the reassurance of our allies and partners and a maritime presence in northern Europe. The tasks, but especially the perspective, have shifted significantly.” After leaving Oslo, maneuvers will take place in the North Sea before continuing towards the English Channel.
In addition to the missions mandated by the Bundestag, the German Navy is constantly involved in the four multinational naval units of NATO – such as the SNMCMGStanding NATO Mine Countermeasures Group1. The Navy permanently places ships and boats at them. Participation in NATO organizations is one of Germany’s obligations towards the alliance, even in times of peace. The NATO associations have existed for decades. They are only very roughly limited regionally. This is one of the reasons why they are quickly available maritime reaction forces, with which the alliance can operate flexibly in the event of any crises or conflicts. The naval units therefore belong to the NATO Response Force ( NRFNATO Response Force); and in this formation they are the naval force’s portion of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force – NATO’s spearhead, permanently operational. Two of the formations have the ability to protect large areas of sea routes, the other two specialize in countering sea mines.
The exact date of the return of the mine diver rescue boat “Rottweil” to its home port of Kiel is still open.