NATO Standing Naval Forces arrive in Plymouth, UK
PLYMOUTH, United Kingdom - Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) ships arrived in Plymouth for an informal port visit and to support Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).
SNMG1, led by Norwegian Navy Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist, arrives at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport with the Norwegian flagship HNoMS Roald Amundsen and fellow SNMG1 ships, Belgian frigate BNS Louise-Marie, German tanker FGS Spessart, and Spanish frigate ESPS Reina Sofia.
SNMCMG1, led by Estonian Navy Commander Johan-Elias Seljamaa, arrives at HMNB Devonport with the Estonian flagship ENS Wambola and SNMCMG1 ships British minehunter HMS Ramsey, Dutch mine countermeasures vessel HNLMS Schiedam, and Norwegian minehunter HNoMS Hinnøy.
FOST is a Royal Navy program and provides operational sea training for many Allied warships.
"During the upcoming period, we will support FOST as an opposing force to the ships undertaking their certification training,” said Commodore Sandquist. "We are looking forward to working closely with our Allies in an advanced warfare training environment.”
Since the change of command on Jan. 14, with Spain handing over command to Norway, SNMG1 has led and participated in exercises off the coast of Norway, which provided a great opportunity to improve interoperability with other NATO and Allied partners.
"Our mission is first and foremost to provide NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and periods of crisis and conflict,” said Commodore Sandquist.
During the port visit Standing NATO Force leadership will meet with local authorities. The port visit is also a great opportunity for the sailors to get to know their Allied counterparts whilst in the historical city of Plymouth. The two Maritime Groups consisting of nine warships will join the FOST from March 6 to 14.