Exercise DYNAMIC MONGOOSE 21 (DMON21) was a NATO-led maritime Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) interoperability exercise conducted from June 28 – July 9, 2021 with Norway serving as the Host Nation. It was designed to practice, demonstrate and refine the Alliance's continued adaptation to an ever-evolving and challenging regional security environment in the High North/Arctic by improving NATO's responsiveness to sub-surface threats while deterring any possible aggression from potential adversaries and reassuring partners and Allies.
Regular training between NATO Allies and multinational Standing Naval Forces like SNMG1 is a force multiplier, providing a collectively trained and highly interoperable capability that NATO could confidently deploy in response to an emerging crisis or conflict
The DMON21 exercise training area was in the Norwegian Sea which borders the Greenland Iceland United Kingdom (GIUK) gap, a natural naval chokepoint and a strategically important maritime transit route through which access to critical transatlantic sea lines of communication or SLOC is obtained. DYMON21 also provided training for high-intensity maritime operations in the harsh and unique Arctic environment.
During DMON21, participating submarines exercised submarine warfare and ASW while surface units and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) conducted sea control or sea denial-related naval tasks in preparation for future collective defence and crisis response operations. ASW in particular, requires complex and close coordination between surface ships, submarines, maritime helicopters and MPA to effectively find, track, and if necessary, neutralize enemy submarines. As such, each type of asset brings its own unique capabilities to the table which complements the capabilities of the others. For example, surface ships have a long endurance and can host ASW capable maritime helicopters. Fixed-wing MPA can cover long distances and wide areas relatively quickly, while submarines are excellent at covert searches and tracking.
"Regular training between NATO Allies and multinational Standing Naval Forces like SNMG1 is a force multiplier, providing a collectively trained and highly interoperable capability that NATO could confidently deploy in response to an emerging crisis or conflict," said Commodore Bradley Peats, Commander SNMG1. "Exercising and validating each other's ASW capabilities, tactics, techniques and procedures allows NATO to be better prepared to counter, and if necessary, defeat a subsurface threat."
This was the second time that SNMG1 was in the Norwegian Sea this semester. Previously SNMG1 conducted various high-intensity operations and training exercises with the Royal Norwegian Navy back in February, including participation in a Task Group Exercise and Exercise Dynamic Guard. Additionally, DMON 21 was the final joint multinational collective defence exercise this semester for SNMG1. HMCS Halifax will return back to its namesake homeport in Canada and be replaced by HMCS Fredericton for the next semester.