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Dec 10 2020

NATO ships conduct mine countermeasures operations in the Danish straits

KATTEGAT, Denmark - Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) has identified twenty historical ordnance from WW2 in the Danish straits as part of their regional mine countermeasures operations.

The operation in the Danish straits near Kattegat was executed December 1-9, with a short logistical stop in the port of Aarhus. Four SNMCMG1 ships took part, from Lithuania, Estonia, Germany and Latvia, as well as two mine countermeasure vessels from the Royal Danish Navy. During the operation an area of 23 square nautical miles was covered. All the data collected about the identified sea-bottom objects was transferred to the Royal Danish Navy for their further action.

SNMCMG1 have fulfilled its duty making Danish territorial waters safer place for all maritime actors in the area

“SNMCMG1 returns to the Danish straits for the second time this year, and both times the mine countermeasure operation results in great number of historical ordnances found. This proves not only the fact that the grim WW2 heritage in these waters still exist up to now, but also demonstrates the effectiveness of modern mine countermeasure capability. SNMCMG1 have fulfilled its duty making Danish territorial waters safer place for all maritime actors in the area,” said Commander of SNMCMG1, Commander Audrius Venckunas (Lithuanian Navy).

While the mine countermeasure vessels were engaged with their primary task, SNMCMG1 flagship LNS Jotvingis took the opportunity to exercise with Danish frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes, conducting seamanship and communication exercises.

The operation is marks the last SNMCMG1 mine countermeasures operation for this deployment. With the end of this operation, the current SNMCMG1 command concludes the series of seven historical ordnance disposal operations executed August-December 2020, resulting in area covered of 125 square nautical miles and 73 mines found. Most of the mines found have been disposed.

Led by Commander Audrius Venckunas of the Lithuanian Navy, SNMCMG1 currently consists of the flagship LNS Jotvingis (Lithuania) with an international staff embarked and three mine countermeasures vessels: ENS Admiral Cowan (Estonia), FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany), LVNS Imanta (Latvia).

Story by SNMCMG1 Public Affairs Officer 

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