More than 10 NATO allies and Sweden have gathered in Bergen, Norway to start an annual training focusing on detecting and hunting submarines.
“The presence of NATO in Norwegian waters will enhance interoperability and will allow NATO to familiarize with Norwegian waters,” said Commodore Ole Morten Sandquist, Commander of the Norwegian fleet.
Exercise Dynamic Mongoose involves submarines from German, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America. For a period of two weeks, the four nations will maneuver againsr surface ships employing a sonar, sensors and maritime air patrols.
Four submarines and more than a dozen surface ships will take part in Ex Dynamic Mongoose. The surface ships are provided by Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“It will allow us to exercise our anti-submarine warfare capabilities in a complex and challenging environment,” said Rear Admiral Brad Williamson, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.
Dynamic Mongoose is aimed at recent foreign vessels intrusion in territorial of many European nations. Last week, the Finnish Navy had to drop depth charge to counter a foreign submarine intrusion in its territorial waters. The depth charge were dropped to exhort the foreign vessel to identify itself. Last year, a similar incident happened in the territorial waters of Sweden.
Although no country were blamed for these incidents, many of them holds strong suspicion against Russia.
Naval officers participating in Dynamic Mongoose said the exercise is not aimed at any particular country.
“Obviously, we’re aware of the incidents that have happened in some of our partner nations’ waters,” said Rear Adm. Brad Williamson, who commands the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 ships participating in the exercise. “I think for us what it does is it focuses our efforts and our training here.”
According to the Star and Stripes, Ex Dynamic Mongoose will be testing the submarines crew in an unfamiliar North Sea environment. “Among the exercise’s challenges is an unfamiliar North Sea environment, where cold temperatures and diversity of underground structures and wildlife will affect how submarines maneuver and are detected. Participant ships work slowly at first, practicing and mastering certain tactics before beginning plugging into drawn-out scenarios, Williamson said. One focus may be protecting an oil tanker or supply ship that might make for an appealing torpedo target.”
Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Sweden has moved closer to NATO. That said, Sweden has been a close partner to NATO over the years. Political leaders often publicly supported a Sweden application to the alliance. However, no formal steps have been taken so far.
Dynamic Mongoose is an excellent exercise to improve NATO’s interoperability, especially in the art of submarines hunting. The 10 NATO countries and Sweden will learn valuable experience and raise its readiness.
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