PASSEX exercises in the Baltic Sea

PASSEX exercises
Fot.: kmdr ppor. Radosław Pioch / 3.FO

The units of the NATO Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1) and Gdynia’s Fleet took part in joint exercises on the Baltic Sea training grounds. The main tasks performed by the units under training were to carry out typical operations of strategic sea transport cover and to maintain control at sea in crisis situations.

Every opportunity to train the crews of the vessels is good. According to this guiding idea, the ORP Gen. K. Pulaski missile frigate conducted joint manoeuvres with the ships of the NATO SNMG-1, operating in the following composition: the flagship of the Group – the frigate of the Royal Navy of Norway -HNoMS Otto Sverdrup and the German supply ship Rhon.

The exercises started on Monday, 4 May, in the morning. As part of joint operations at sea, seafarers carried out a number of tactical episodes, including, among others: manoeuvring in formation, fighting fast motor boats in asymmetrical actions, defending against surface ships, submarines and aircrafts. In cooperation with aviation, simulated rocket attacks have been trained for non-threshold purposes. The skills of searching for and fighting against submarines were improved, as well as fire tasks with actual use of armaments were carried out. The joint manoeuvres ended on 6 May evening.

Fot.: kmdr ppor. Radosław Pioch / 3.FO

This type of exercises was to improve the training of Navy forces in actions to protect the interests of the state at sea. The essence is to cover strategic maritime transport and to maintain control at sea in a crisis situation in order to prevent a blockade of the state at sea. At present, a stable, undisturbed development of maritime economy depends on the safety of maritime communication routes. The largest tonnage of international trade goods is transported by sea. Various types of raw materials are also delivered by sea, which are used by maritime countries. Similar actions are also carried out by the Navy during exercises and operations within the framework of international cooperation under the auspices of NATO and Partnership for Peace.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1) is one of the two permanent naval teams of the North Atlantic Alliance, which include selected destroyers and frigates of member states. The skeleton of the team consists of vessels from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, which are regularly joined by ships from Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Poland. SNMG-1 conducts exercises both in the composition of the team and with the ships of NATO and Partnership for Peace member states’ naval forces.

The multinational elite team is maintained at the highest level of combat readiness and is designed for immediate response in crisis situations, peacekeeping operations and in case of war. The ships operate in the Atlantic and all European waters and are the best trained international strike team of its kind in the world. In the performance of their tasks at sea, the ships monitor shipping, control suspicious vessels, carry out blockade operations and evacuate endangered populations, and provide a base for the marine infantry and special units carrying out tasks in the hinterland.

The North Atlantic Alliance maintains four teams of ships on permanent rotating service. Two of them are frigate teams, two more are mine clearance teams. The task of these multinational naval teams is to demonstrate the solidarity of the alliance members and to carry out one of the most important defence tasks – ensuring the safety of strategic maritime communication routes. In a crisis situation, NATO states must not allow maritime transport to be paralysed because it is mainly this way that humanitarian aid, raw materials, fuels and combat support reach the country under threat. Ship’s teams are among the most effective elements of the so-called response forces – they do not need to build a separate logistic base, they carry strong and diversified armaments, they can carry out embargo actions, control shipping, cover units with humanitarian supplies, evacuate endangered people. They can also serve as a base for special units or infantry carrying out tasks in the hinterland. They spend most of their time at sea, among other things, by playing the interoperability of their ships and participating in manoeuvres with the navies of Member States and NATO partner countries. In a crisis situation, they can be directed to carry out tasks almost anywhere in the world.

Rel (3rd Ship’s Fleet)

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