Ships assigned to the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) joined the Swedish naval exercise SWENEX, from May 11-21 in the waters of Skagerak and the Baltic Sea.
SNMG1 with the flagship HNoMS Otto Sverdrup and FGS Rhon played the role of a simulated adversary to the Swedish naval forces who defended Swedish territory from the intruders. Swedish Navy brought 15 warships, 80 small boats and 2,000 sailors together with helicopters and small airplanes to the exercise.
“Even though Sweden is not a NATO nation, we train and exercise together. I find our participation in this exercise important and extremely valuable. Sweden and NATO share the same interest of peace and stability in the Baltic, with safe and secure sea lines of communication for all. Knowing each other’s capacities, procedures and ways of communicating is important for us to be able to work together in a possible situation that demands common effort from both NATO and Sweden” said Commander of SNMG1, Commodore Yngve Skoglund.
After a spring session that has seen several major exercises reduced or even cancelled due to COVID-19, SWENEX gave valuable opportunities for training and exercising air defence as well as surface and subsurface scenarios.
SNMG1 will finish of their participation in the exercise with a short stop in the Swedish capital Stockholm this weekend.
In a few weeks another major exercise is due in the Baltic Sea when the annual BALTOPS starts on 7 June. Two NATO groups, SNMG1 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One, will take part and play a vital role in the exercise that is led by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO).