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 Sep 1 2020

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 participates in Sandy Coast exercise

ZEEBRUGGE, Belgium - After several weeks operating in the most Northern part of Europe and on completion of a successful historical ordnance disposal operation in Norwegian waters, Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) is taking part in the mine countermeasures exercise Sandy Coast 20 off the coast of Belgium.

From September 1 to 11, 2020 SNMCMG1 including flagship LNS Jotvingis, HNLMS Schiedam, BNS Crocus, LVNS Imanta, FGS Groemitz, HNoMS Maaloy, and ENS Admiral Cowan will participate with a NATO partner Finnish vessel Vahterpaa in the international mine countermeasures exercise.

Time spent together up in the North unified our Group’s actions and procedures

The exercise is headed by the Admiralty Benelux (ABNL). This is a unique collaboration between the Belgian and the Royal Dutch Navies.

The exercise provides a unique opportunity to challenge participants by exercising experimental tactics, and explosive ordnance device (EOD) techniques and procedures. The 2020 edition equally focuses on harbour protection, and shore-based mine countermeasures operations.

“Time spent together up in the North unified our Group’s actions and procedures which empowers Group staff in certain situations to make a fast decision and delegate tasks in limited time provided. I am looking forward to the challenges ABNL has prepared, and I have full confidence in the units and staff members under my command,” said the Lithuanian Commander Audrius Venckunas, Commander of SNMCMG1.


Story by Allied Maritime Command Public Affairs Office

Commander of SNMCMG1 Commander Audrius Venckunas of the Lithuanian Navy talks with the exercise Sandy Coast Commander Filip Clauwaert of the Belgium Navy at the pre-sail conference in Zeebrugge, Belgium on 31 August 2020. Photo: Lithuanian Navy
SNMCMG1 vessels gather in Zeebrugge, Belgium on 31 August 2020 for exercise Sandy Coast. Photo: Lithuanian Navy

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