Mine countermeasures experts from 19 Allied and Partner nations gathered for NATO exercise Dynamic Move 23-II Aug. 28 to Sep. 8 at the Italian Mine Warfare and Hydrographic Command (MARICODRAG) in La Spezia, Italy. Dynamic Move is NATO Allied Maritime Command’s (MARCOM) bi-annual tactical-level computer-assisted naval mine countermeasures command post exercise. The aim of the two-week exercise was to empower multinational teams from the staffs of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) to conduct mine countermeasures operations across the full spectrum of competencies for NATO Response Force certification in addition to training national mine countermeasures personnel. It also served as platform for evaluation of new doctrines and experimental tactics. Exercise Dynamic Move provides the opportunity to practice NATO doctrine and procedures with the highly skilled multinational team at MARICODRAG.
“Communication can be a challenge at sea. Here, we can literally sit together and go over lessons learned at the end of the day and exchange ideas face-to-face. That immediate feedback and conversation allows us to quickly adapt as necessary, expedite the learning process, and develop ideas and future capabilities. Freedom of movement at sea is essential at all times for all, military and civilians, Naval mines, from very basic to high-tech, are an attractive and effective weapon available to both states and non-state actors to influence maritime traffic. To enable the maintenance of the Sea Lines of Communication and exercising Sea Control and Sea Denial, Naval Mine Warfare is a key capability,” Ronco said.
While the exercise was held strictly on land, it allowed participants to use a special war-gaming computer system at MARICODRAG in a safe environment with rapid feedback from the instructors to the training audience. Participants simulated the multi-layered coordination between surface, unmanned underwater, and air assets to successfully conduct mine countermeasures operations at sea in support of humanitarian assistance and amphibious operations.
Based on a fictitious scenario while using real geography, the exercise allowed participants to use realistic calculations to solve challenges such as time needed for mine clearance tasks, logistics, and anticipated mine drift distance and direction. It also included scenarios that involved addressing the threat to critical undersea infrastructure. Staff rehearsed the command and control requirements for managing multiple minesweepers and mine hunters operating in a diverse set of water depth, bottom composition and weather in numerous locations.
DYME 23-II includes Allied participants and planners from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States (15 nations) and as well as observers from NATO partners Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, and Ukraine (4 nations). SNMCMG2 is one of two NATO mine countermeasures groups that report to MARCOM. Headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom, MARCOM is the central command of all NATO maritime forces and the MARCOM commander is the primary maritime adviser to the Alliance. Like its land and air counterparts (LANDCOM and AIRCOM), MARCOM reports directly to NATO’s Allied Command Operations, which is located in Mons, Belgium.