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NATO Takes Part in Swedish Naval Exercise


Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) joined the Swedish naval exercise SWENEX, between 11 – 21 May, 2020 in the waters of Skagerak and the Baltic Sea.

SNMG1 with the flagship HNoMS Otto Sverdrup and FGS Rhon played the role of a simulated adversary to the Swedish naval forces who defended Swedish territory from the intruders.

Swedish Navy brought 15 warships, 80 small boats and 2,000 sailors together with helicopters and small airplanes to the exercise.

After a spring session that has seen several major exercises reduced or even cancelled due to COVID-19, SWENEX gave valuable opportunities for training and exercising air defense and surface and subsurface scenarios. SNMG1 will finish of their participation in the exercise with a short stop in the Swedish capital Stockholm this weekend.

In a few weeks another major exercise is due in the Baltic Sea when the annual BALTOPS starts on 7 June. Two NATO groups, SNMG1 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One, will take part and play a vital role in the exercise that is led by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO).

“Even though Sweden is not a NATO nation, we train and exercise together. I find our participation in this exercise important and extremely valuable. Sweden and NATO share the same interest of peace and stability in the Baltic, with safe and secure sea lines of communication for all. Knowing each other’s capacities, procedures and ways of communicating is important for us to be able to work together in a possible situation that demands common effort from both NATO and Sweden” — Commodore Yngve Skoglund, Royal Norwegian Navy, Commander of SNMG1




SNMG1 is one of four standing forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). To respond to contingency situations additional forces can be added to these groups, with the NATO command staff onboard and the ships of the group as the nucleus, capable of providing timely support to NATO operations.


SNMG1 currently consists of its flagship, the Norwegian frigate Otto Sverdrup and the German oiler Rhon.


Royal Norwegian Navy Commodore Yngve Skoglund took over the command of SNMG1 from U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Edward Cashman on Dec. 9, 2019.

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