The third iteration in this year’s Neptune Strike series, NEST23-3 is a tangible demonstration of the power and capability of the NATO Alliance in multi-domain operations, highlighting the natural evolution of NATO's ability to integrate the high-end maritime warfare capabilities of carrier strike groups to support the defence of the Alliance.
Our ability to plug in and merge with other maritime formations on short notice is a living testament of NATO’s readiness to cope with any security challenge that endangers the security of the Alliance
Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) joined 20 Allies and one partner nation for the eVA, led by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO).
SNMG1, currently under the command of German Navy Rear Admiral Thorsten Marx, currently comprises four ships from Allied nations. During NEST23-3, the group focused on training together to refine tactics, techniques and procedures while increasing interoperability and capacity across the maritime domain. The group also improved mutual understanding and strengthened relationships with Allies in the region.
“Our ability to plug in and merge with other maritime formations on short notice is a living testament of NATO’s readiness to cope with any security challenge that endangers the security of the Alliance,” Marx said. “The Standing NATO Maritime Groups demonstrated their value for the Alliance as very high readiness force and first responder.”
The activity promoted the aggregation and sharing of multi-domain information in a complex, three-dimensional warfighting environment, which resulted in greater awareness and reduced reaction times in response to emerging threats. It was a realistic opportunity to verify the efficiency of NATO´s maritime command and control structure and its elements in a multi-layered, maritime setting.
SNMCMG1, under command of Polish Navy Commander Piotr Bartosewicz, continued its deployment since the beginning of July and comprises four minehunters and two minesweepers. The group has proven it is able and prepared to operate in almost every corner of NATO’s area of responsibility, whenever the need arises. SNMCMG1 provides protection of sea lines of communication and contributes to maritime safety across the Alliance.
"Our units were deployed and conducted tasks in different areas of northern Europe,” Bartosewicz said. “We were active in the North Sea, and through the central to north part of the Baltic Sea Region conducting enhanced vigilance activities and patrolling crucial sea routes to ensure freedom of navigation. SNMCMG1 is ready to bring the capabilities and skills to conduct inspection and protection of critical underwater infrastructure."
The Standing Naval Forces comprise the core of the maritime component of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) to the NATO Response Forces (NRF), providing timely maritime support to NATO operations.