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Oct 6 2021

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group 1 Conducts Operational Handover

BELFAST, Ireland – In a ceremony on Oct. 2, Commander Michal Dziugan of the Polish Navy assumed command of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) from Captain Sam Brasfield of the United States Navy in Belfast, United Kingdom, aboard the German flagship FGS Elbe.

This is the first time SNMCMG1 has been under United States command since its inception in 1973.

"We came together with the purpose of clearing the sea lanes of explosive hazards, while appreciating and leveraging our differences, experience and perspective. The mission was about more than just MCM, it was about developing and furthering relationships with allies and partners, showing the NATO flag and my go to, objective of having fun while we did it," said Brasfield.

While under Capt. Brasfield's command, SNMCMG1 participated in Historic Ordnance Search Operations off the coast of Germany, Historic Ordnance Disposal Operations off the coast of France, Exercise Sandy Coast 2021 off the coast of Netherlands and Exercise Joint Warrior/Dynamic Mariner 2021 off the west coast of Scotland. Throughout the course of operations, SNMCMG1 Units spent 1,091 hours hunting, identifying, countermining and recovering historic and exercise ordnance. During the deployment the force maintained a continuous pandemic-free bubble, ensuring the availability of the NATO Force to conduct operations anywhere they were needed.

We came together with the purpose of clearing the sea lanes of explosive hazards, while appreciating and leveraging our differences, experience and perspective. The mission was about more than just MCM, it was about developing and furthering relationships with allies and partners, showing the NATO flag and my go to, objective of having fun while we did it.
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Cmdr. Michal Dziugan from the Polish Navy will command the Group from the flagship, FGS Elbe.

"It is an immense honor, but also a great responsibility to assume command of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group ONE, which must be ready to respond to any contingency situation," said Dziugan.

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) is one of four standing maritime groups composed of ships from various allied countries. These vessels are continuously available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions. They also serve as an on-call maritime force as a part of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) while exhibiting forward presence and contributing to operational interoperability among allied naval forces to support greater regional security and stability.

Story by Public Affairs Office at MARCOM

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