NATO SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 Ships Complete Exercise Cold Response
NATO SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 Ships Complete Exercise Cold Response

NATO SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 Naval Ships Complete Exercise Cold Response

The ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) completed participation in Norwegian-led multinational exercise Cold Response 22 on April 1. Over 30,000 troops, 50 surface and sub-surface assets and 200 Aircraft from 27 countries participated in the exercise. The training demonstrated the flexibility, capabilities and readiness in the challenging arctic environment of Northern Norway. SNMG1 led by Commodore A. van de Sande of the Royal Netherlands Navy, consists of the flagship HNLMS De Zeven Provincien, the German Combat Support Ship FGS Berlin, HDMS Peter Willemoes, FGS Erfurt, and HMS Northumberland.

“This large NATO exercise showed what NATO is about: operating together to defend our Allies,” said Sande. “Cold Response 2022 delivered high-end training across the spectrum of (naval) warfare. It was good to see all these NATO units operate together in the High North of Norway, at sea, in the air and ashore.”

“Overall the exercise was a success with MCM vessels managing to find and train on exercise mines whilst HDMS Vaedderen got a different experience from what they are used to doing whilst working with LVNS Virsaitis,” said Laanements.

Estonian Navy ENS Sakala (M314) transits the Norwegian Sea as part of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 during Exercise Cold Response. (Photo by NATO Allied Maritime Command)

SNMG1 ships supported the amphibious operations with air defense, conducted naval surface fire support and anti-submarine coverage. SNMCMG1 supported other task groups with lead through operations, in mine danger areas within the exercise scenario. The staff embarked extra officers from the Finnish, Norwegian and U.S. navies and they all worked together to deliver outstanding results in MCM operations. This maritime group is currently led by Commander Ott Laanemets and is comprised of LVSN Virsaitis, BNS Lobelia, FGS Bad Bevensen, ENS Sakala, HMS Grimsby, HNLMS Schiedam, HNOMS Hinnoy. Ships from both Task Groups are now headed for a pre-planned deployment to the Baltic Sea, to participate in common training and visit ports of allied and partner Nations.

Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) is one of NATO’s standing naval maritime immediate reaction forces. SNMG1 consists of four to six destroyers and frigates. The proposed contingency force was approved by NATO in December 1967 and activated in January 1968 as Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT). The force was re-designated Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 in January 2005. Its role is to provide NATO with an immediate operational response capability. Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) standing mine countermeasures immediate reaction force. From 3 September 2001 it was known as the Mine Countermeasures Force North Western Europe (MCMFORNORTH) and from 1 January 2005 it became Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1.

Ships of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 sail in formation in Geiranger Fjord, Norway, during Exercise Cold Response. (Photo by NATO Allied Maritime Command)