NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group Visits London
LONDON – Overnight and this morning, the seven ships of Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group ONE (SNMCMG1), under command of Lithuanian Navy Commander Giedrius Premeneckas, arrived in London for a routine port visit.
SNMCMG1 is visiting London as part of the Group’s deployment to enhance maritime security and NATO’s readiness in the region. This marks the first time that the Lithuanian Navy has taken command of one of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.
SNMCMG1’s flagship, the Lithuanian Minelayer LNS JOTVINGIS, led the Polish Navy minehunter ORP FLAMING, the German Navy minehunter FGS DATTELN, the Latvian Navy minehunter LVA TALIVALDIS, the Estonian Navy minehunter ENS SAKALA, the Dutch Navy minehunter HNLMS ZIERIKZEE, and the Belgian Navy minehunter BNS CROCUS into port at the Canary Wharf.
‘‘Definitely, our current visit to London is a very important event of our deployment,” said Commander Premeneckas. "Up to now, SNMCMG1 ships and staff have been actively engaged in a number of exercises and mine clearance operations. All of them significantly enhanced our readiness and degree of professionalism. I view it as an extremely valuable contribution to NATO collective defense efficiency and regional security in general.”
Since Commander Premeneckas took command of the Group August 7 during a port visit to Klaipeda, Lithuania, the Group has deployed in the Baltic and North Seas as part of NATO assurance measures, and supported numerous exercises, including the Finland-led Exercise NORTHERN COASTS and UK-led Exercise JOINT WARRIOR, multinational exercises that enhanced multinational maritime capabilities and interoperability. Most recently, the Group conducted Historic Ordnance Disposal operations, removing and eliminating four potentially deadly mines that date back to earlier wars and increasing safety of navigation in the Bay of the Somme.
"I am certain that the upcoming days we are going to spend in the beautiful city of London will allow us to learn more of its glorious history and culture,” said Commander Premeneckas.