HNLMS De Ruyter, one of the ships currently sailing with SNMG1, tested her capabilities in an exercise scenario near Greece. The scenario mirrors the threats warships have to deal with in real life and is a mix of low and high intensity warfare.
|HNLMS de Ruyter arrives in a patrol area in the north of Crete|
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March 7th, early in the morning, HNLMS de Ruyter arrives in a patrol area in the north of Crete, Greece. Intelligence reports indicate that the criminal cartel Kallista Inc. intends to organise an illegal shipment of weapons. Kallista has two fighter aircrafts at its disposal, both fitted with air-to-surface missiles. The cartel is willing to proceed with this shipment at any cost.
HNLMS de Ruyter has taken all necessary precautions to prevent this illegal use of international sea lanes. Tactical readiness is set to maximum. Commodore Ben Bekkering, the Commander of the NATO Response Force ‘Standing NATO Maritime Group 1′ explains: “This multi threat scenario is an excellent training opportunity to maintain our readiness. All conditions are set to test and verify new tactics, procedures and techniques.” Cdre Bekkering is embarked on HNLMS de Ruyter and is supported by an international staff whose mission is to ensure the group’s coordination.
All of a sudden, a small smuggling boat is spotted by the radar operator and identified as hostile. The alarm goes off and within seconds, all battle stations are manned and ready. Almost immediately, grenades are launched followed by rounds of small-calibre artillery. The smuggling boat is neutralised but Kallista is expected to strike back anytime. Before long, an incoming fighter aircraft is detected on the radar. The fighter fires a missile on the NATO warship which responds by launching a medium range surface-to-air missile. The hostile’s incoming missile is dealt with by the ship’s decoy launching system. All threats have been neutralised. Kallista makes a final attempt with a low slow flyer but the Goalkeepers’ weapon system takes him out.
All threats were successfully treated. HNLMS de Ruyter’s commanding officer, Commander Sebo Hofkamp, concludes: “Today we have proven our capability and strengthened our confidence in procedures, equipment and each other.”
Allied Command Operations