Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) both participated in this year's BALTOPS. The exercise gathered in total 28 ships, 28 aircrafts and more than 3000 sailors, airmen and marines from 19 nations. The exercise scenario took place in the Southern Baltic Sea between 7-17 June.
The Baltic nations rely of freedom of access and trade within the Baltic Sea; this exercise aims to demonstrate to these nations that NATO stands with them to protect their interests
Norwegian Commander of SNMG1 Yngve Skoglund said: "This year marks the 49TH iteration of BALTOPS. It is an important exercise for Allied and partner nations around the Baltic. The Baltic nations rely of freedom of access and trade within the Baltic Sea; this exercise aims to demonstrate to these nations that NATO stands with them to protect their interests."
Ships from Canada, Germany, Norway and United States sailing in formation during the exercise BAlTOPS 2020, in the Baltic Sea on 8 June 2020.
During the exercise he commanded a task group consisting of four frigates, destroyers and a logistical ship.
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One also took part in the exercise, working closely with partners. Finnish minehunter Purunpää fully integrated into their task group, consisting of in total seven mine countermeasures vessels, two unmanned drones and one logistical ship from five different nations.
Photographic Exercise (PHOTEX) including ships and air assets from Canada, Germany, Norway and the United States in Baltic Sea, on 8 June 2020.
"It is good to see the successful integration of one of NATO's partner countries. We communicated on the same frequencies and operated with the same NATO-procedures, making for smooth integration. The experience of being part of a bigger task force with more complex scenarios has really given SNMCMG1 great training outcomes", said the Norwegian Commander of SNMCMG1, Henning Knudsen-Hauge.
BALTOPS, held in the Baltic region since in 1972, is a joint, maritime-focused exercise that brings together NATO Allies and Partners in order to increase interoperability and enhance flexibility among the participants.