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Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One to Visit Cherbourg

North Atlantic - Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) is scheduled to arrive in Cherbourg,
France October 20 for a port visit as part of the group’s 2017 deployment.

While in Cherbourg, the ships will coordinate with the French Navy in preparation for Historical Ordinance Disposal operations (HOD Ops) off the French coast, resupply the ships and get a break from life at sea.

Over the last three month the ships of SNMCMG1, their crews and the command staff participated in intense training during exercises Northern Coasts in the Baltic Sea and Joint Warrior in British waters North-West of Scotland. Prior to these exercises, SNMCMG1 took part in HOD Ops in Latvia and Estonia clearing waters of explosives remaining from two World Wars. 

The exercises provided an opportunity for all personnel to refresh and train on a wide range of naval warfare skills. Some of these skills are put to use in the real world during the HOD Ops to make waters safer for navigation and fishing by  neutralizing found historical explosives (mines and torpedoes).

Previously SNMCMG1 has visited ports in five Baltic Sea region countries including Finland and Sweden which are important partners of NATO  and two ports in United Kingdom.

SNMCMG1 is currently composed of the NATO group flagship, Latvian coastal minelayer and command ship LVNS Virsaitis, German minehunter FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Norwegian minesweeper HNoMS Rauma, Belgian minehunter BNS Primula and Dutch minehunter HNLMS Makkum. SNMCMG1 is under the leadership of Commander Gvido Laudups of the Latvian Navy.

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