PASSEX exercises in the Baltic Sea

The missile frigate ORP Gen. K. Pułaski and the patrol corvette ORP Ślązak conducted joint maneuvers with the Dutch landing ship HNLMS Rotterdam, acting as a command ship of the NATO Standing Naval Forces Group-1 (SNMG-1) at the sea training grounds in the Baltic Sea.

The main tasks performed by the training units were to conduct typical operations of covering strategic maritime transport and maintaining sea control in crisis situations.

The exercises began on Monday, January 24, in the morning hours.

As part of the joint operations at sea, the sailors conducted a number of tactical episodes, including but not limited to: search and combat submarines. Submarines pose the greatest threat to convoys, shipping and communication routes. It can also break blockades and perform torpedo attacks. The units also practiced maneuvering in formation and defense against surface ships, submarines and aircraft. During the sea training, the basic individual tasks of each ship and the functioning of the team in case of accidents, fires, search and rescue operations were also carried out. The joint maneuvers ended on Wednesday, 26 January.

Photo: Bsmt Michał Pietrzak and SNMG1

The aim of this type of exercises is to improve the level of training of the Navy ships crews in joint conducting naval operations with the vessels of NATO member states. Achieving maximum synergy is the direction of actions taken, and what is more it gives an opportunity to present the Polish Navy as a well-prepared and effective NATO partner. Participation of the Polish Navy in NATO undertakings is one of the elements of fulfilling its alliance obligations and at the same time presenting the forces and capabilities of the alliance in carrying out tasks in the Baltic Sea.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1) is one of the two standing ship groups of the North Atlantic Alliance consisting of selected destroyers and frigates of the member states. The backbone of the team are units from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Holland, periodically joined by ships from Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Poland. SNMG-1 conducts exercises both as a team and with naval forces from NATO and Partnership for Peace member states.

Photo: Bsmt Michał Pietrzak and SNMG1

The multinational elite team is maintained at the highest level of combat readiness and is designed to respond immediately to crisis situations, peacekeeping operations and 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 their tasks at sea, the ships monitor shipping, control suspicious vessels, conduct blockade actions and evacuate endangered populations, as well as provide a base for infantry and special units performing tasks inland.

The North Atlantic Alliance maintains four teams of ships in permanent rotation. Two of them are frigate teams and two more are mine action teams. The task of these multinational ship teams is to demonstrate the solidarity of the alliance members and to carry out one of the most important defense tasks – to ensure the security of strategic sea communication routes.

In a crisis situation NATO countries cannot allow sea transport to be paralysed, because it is mainly this way that humanitarian aid, raw materials, fuels and combat support reaches a threatened country. Ship’s teams are one of 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 weaponry, they can conduct embargo actions, control navigation, cover vessels with humanitarian supplies, evacuate endangered people. The teams spend most of their time at sea, among other things, coordinating the cooperation of their ships and participating in manoeuvres with navies of NATO member and partner states. In a crisis situation, almost at a moment’s notice, they can be directed to perform tasks practically in any region of the globe.



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