Five ships of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 will dock in Szczecin, north-west Poland, on Friday. The crew will replenish supplies and rest before carrying out further tasks in the Baltic Sea region, the Polish military reported. The vessels will not be available to the public.
On Friday, the team’s flagship, the Norwegian HNoMS NORDKAPP (A531), and four mine countermeasure vessels from Belgium, Estonia, France, and Germany will moor in the city’s port.
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One has a new flagship! Welcome 🇳🇴 HNoMS Nordkapp. #WeAreNATO #StrongerTogehter #DeterAndDefend pic.twitter.com/r1ewgyuGs3
— NATO Maritime Command (@NATO_MARCOM) January 18, 2023
During the visit, the vessels will be accompanied by a Polish minesweeper, the ORP Drużno (641).
“Working visits of NATO flag vessels to Polish ports are aimed at developing friendly relations and familiarising seafarers with each other’s conditions, work, and equipment. They also serve to exchange experience related to the implementation of mine defense tasks at sea,” a Polish military spokesman said.
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“This will be the first visit to Poland by vessels of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1. The stopover in Szczecin will be an opportunity for the crews to replenish the ship’s stocks and to prepare for further tasks at sea,” he added.
The visit will end on Monday, May 8.
NATO Standing Naval Forces
NATO maintains four ship teams in permanent rotational service. Two of these teams are made up of destroyers and missile frigates often supported by a supply vessel.
The other two are composed of mine countermeasures vessels with a multi-role command vessel.
“This multinational, integrated force is continuously available to perform tasks ranging from participating to exercises to conducting NATO missions,” NATO’s official website wrote about the Alliance’s Standing Naval Forces.