NORTH ATLANTIC (July 5, 2019) - Naval forces from Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1), commanded by Rear Adm. Edward Cashman shifted operations from the Baltic Sea into the Norwegian Sea and across the Article Circle to start Dynamic Mongoose (DYMON) 2019 on July 1st.
DYMON 2019 is designed to enhance anti-submarine warfare (ASW) integration among NATO navies by executing challenging training exercises with 6 surface ships, 9 maritime patrol aircraft and 8 helicopters training with 4 Allied submarines in the North Atlantic.
"Exercises like Dynamic Mongoose give NATO Allies an opportunity to train in a very challenging deep water/continental slope environment and a surface environment where seas can build from five feet to 25 or even 30 feet in the matter of a couple days,” said Chief Operations Specialist Juan Gutierrez, SNGM 1 Staff Chief of Operations. "This is not only unique for the creation of the exercise but challenging for the navies due to the unpredictable circumstances.”
After completing several safety and training familiarization events, SNMG1 started day three with a Combined Anti-Submarine Exercise (CASEX). In a CASEX, a group of ships and aircraft are given a wide area of water to search for submarines while the submarine(s) playing as the opposing force must try to accomplish simulated missions against the surface forces.
Finding the submarine requires the ships and aircraft to work together in a coordinated search to ensure the submarine doesn’t slip through. Ships have both active and passive sonar, as well as radar and visual sensors to detect submarines. Helicopters are also equipped with radar and visual detection systems and may be equipped with active and passive sonobuoys or use a sonar suspended under the helicopter and into the water to detect a submarine. Maritime patrol aircraft also possess sensitive radars to detect submarine periscopes as all as sonobuoys to create large networks of sensors in the water.
"We started the coordination for the Dynamic Mongoose CASEX’s about three months ago,” said German Lt. Cmdr. Ulrike Boelke-Dorr, SNMG1 Staff Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer. "With 27 units from nine countries participating, it’s important and beneficial for all navies to be assigned with their strengths of capabilities, which will provide crucial feedback for future missions.”
DYMON 2019 serves to build interoperability, evaluate new equipment and tactics, and strengthen enduring relationships in ASW procedures to ensure NATO units are always ready to operate together proficiently when called upon.
"Antisubmarine Warfare is vital part of the mission of the Standing NATO Forces, and this area of the North Atlantic is strategically important for the Alliance,” said Cashman. "Dynamic Mongoose provides the unique opportunity for units from 9 Allied nations to integrate air, surface, and subsurface forces and train together in very realistic scenarios in relevant undersea warfare environment. The ability of the units to quickly assemble, have a short series of events to ensure safety, and immediately begin realistic training showcases the inherent flexibility and capability, of NATO maritime forces.”
Countries participating in DYMON 2019 are Canada, France, Germany, U.K., Norway, Portugal, U.S., Turkey, and Denmark.
SNMG1 is currently composed of the U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, British frigate HMS Westminster, and Turkish frigate TCG Gokova. SNMG1 is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capability of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). They provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among Allied naval forces.