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Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group docks in Latvia

From November 1-3 the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCG1) ships will dock in Liepāja, according to the Naval Forces Coast Guard Service. The SNMCMG1 group also includes the Latvian Naval Forces minesweeper M-06 “Tālivaldis”, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Deniss Jeļcovs.

On Saturday, November 2, from 13:00-17:00 two SNMCMG1 ships will be open to visitors at pier 84 at the Liepāja Port. Visitors will be able to explore Norwegian mine trawler “Rauma” and German minesweeper “Weilheim”, as well as the Naval Forces staff and supply ship “Virsaitis”.

From November 4-14, the SNMCMG1 will hold the “Hod ops” on the Irbe strait, where the main task is to optimize the SNMCMG1 and Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON) mine countermeasure operation skills. They will also find and neutralize First and Second World War explosive devices left at the Irbe strait to improve Baltic Sea safety.

The Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCG1) is one of four standing NATO Naval Forces groups, which make up the NATO Response Force sea component. The Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 is one of two international sea component groups created for mine countermeasure operations. The NATO Response Force is ready to deploy quickly to operations wherever needed.

BALTRON was created in August 1998 to provide quick reaction capabilities in the sea during both peacetime and during a crisis. Its first commander was Latvian Sea Captain Ilmārs Lešinskis. The current BALTRON commander is Latvian Naval Forces Lieutenant Commander Armands Grebežs.

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