Laanemets told ETV news program “Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK) that: “Since Estonia’s command period lasts a whole year, but we ourselves no longer have a ship with the dimensions of ‘a staff ship, we asked for help from our friends in Latvia, and in the second half of the year, from Germany. It has been quite common within NATO in recent years that all cooperation is increasingly international.
On his experiences so far, Cdr Laanemets said: “But the fact that there is a war going on in the south [in Ukraine], there was nothing too extraordinary. Our experience tells us that the behavior has been very professional, there have been no incidents of provocation, no escalation has occurred.”
SNMCMG1 patrolled the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Far North, and also conducted a drone exercise off the coast of Portugal. Next week, the flotilla will take part in a mine countermeasures exercise in the Väinamere Strait, between Saaremaa and the Estonian mainland, and in the Gulf of Riga.
Part of the naval component of NATO’s rapid reaction forces was mobilized following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, although SNMCMG1 is not tasked with responding to Russian naval maneuvers, this is carried out by the navies of friendly powers of neighboring states, NATO frigates and destroyers. .
A German Navy (Deutsche Marine) staff ship and minehunter, as well as a Royal Netherlands Navy minehunter were the group’s ships at the port of Tallinn.
In peacetime, SNMCMG1 has eight ships. Cdr Ott Laanemets commanded the group from Jaunary after relieving Cdr Michal Dziugan of the Polish Navy (Marynarka Wojenna). The group last visited Estonia in the summer.
Estonia has been contributing to the NATO Mine Action Group since 2005.
The Merevägi is part of the Estonian Defense Force organization and not an autonomous service.
Follow the news of the ERR on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!