NATO’s SNMG1 successfully simulates response to a multi-threat scenario

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
Source: NATO
Click to enlarge

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.” 

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