On September 16, Rear Admiral Hank Ort, Chief of Staff of the Allied Maritime Command in Northwood visited the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Group 1 (SNMCMG1) during the port visit in Oslo, Norway. After a brief by the commander of the group Commander Yvo Jaenen of the Belgium navy, they visited the Estonian ESN Sakala and the Norwegian HNoMS Karmøy. Admiral Ort was informed about the latest techniques in countering maritime ordnances and he met with a number of crewmembers, who clearly enjoyed the port of Oslo but were very keen to get to sea again for their next UK exercise Joint Warrior.
Over dinner with all ships' commanders of SNMCMG1, Rear Admiral Ort congratulated them with the achievements of the group during the Danish-German led exercise DANEX/NOCO, where 7 historical explosive ordnances were taken out of sealanes in the west Baltic. These unexploded devices are often remainders of the second world war and do occasionly harm ships and crew to date.
"The group has proven over the last weeks to be very effective in countering mines, and are therefore delivering a very important service to the maritime community: 'safety at sea'. More generally, being able to exercise with this amount of ships from so many nations, contributes to maritime security in the long term and is a pivotal feature of the alliance" said rear admiral Ort