Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group Arrives in Belfast
BELFAST, UK – This morning, the eight ships of Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group ONE (SNMCMG1), under the leadership of Lithuanian Navy Commander Giedrius Premeneckas, arrived in Belfast for a routine port visit, having just concluded participation in the UK-led Exercise JOINT WARRIOR.
SNMCMG1's flagship, the Lithuanian Minelayer LNS JOTVINGIS, is leading the Group's minehunters: the Polish Navy's ORP FLAMING, the German Navy's FGS DATTELN, the Norwegian Navy's HNoMS KARMOEY, the Latvian Navy's LVNS TALIVALDIS, the Estonian Navy's ENS SAKALA, the Dutch Navy's HNLMS ZIERIKZEE and the Belgian Navy's BNS CROCUS.
SNMCMG1's visit to Belfast is part of the Group's deployment programme. This deployment marks the first time that the Lithuanian Navy has taken command of one of NATO's Standing Naval Forces.
"I look forward to a very successful visit and interaction with the people of Belfast, and the crews of our ships are looking forward to visiting this beautiful city," said Commander Premeneckas.
SNMCMG1 concluded participation in the UK-led Exercise JOINT WARRIOR off the northwestern coast of Scotland Wednesday. The high intensity exercise gave SNMCMG1 ships valuable experience operating together with a large number of air and surface assets of NATO nations.
The training program included serials on force protection against asymmetric threat, replenishment at sea, air defense, vessel of interest boarding, operating under communications and GPS jamming conditions, surface maneuvering, mine warfare and mine recovery, and media operations. The two weeks of intensive training will ultimately contribute to SNMCMG1's professionalism and readiness.