SNMCMG1 – Many shades of grey

London is lucky enough to attract a wide range of naval vessels as visitors and for the last 6 days the West India Dock in Canary Wharf has been the temporary home of 7 ships of the NATO Maritime Command’s Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group One – also known as SNMCMG1.

FGS Datteln M1068 (2) @ Gallions Reach 24-11-14

NATO MARCOM has four standing naval groups and these are composed of temporarily assigned vessels from the various NATO nations – this group is led by the Lithuanian Navy with ships from Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Poland and the Netherlands.

ORP Flaming 621 (2) @ Gallions Reach 24-11-14

An interesting note is that LNS Jotvingis, the lead ship of the flotilla, was originally built as a mine layer / command vessel but is now primarily used in the latter role.

LNS Jotvingis N42 (2) @ Gallions Reach 24-11-14

SNMCMG1 is focused on counter mine warfare operations with the aim of keeping shipping lanes and ports free of mines and undertakes numerous exercises around the waters of Northern Europe.

BNS Crocus M917 (2) @ Gallions Reach 19-11-14

The group also has a role to help with the disposal of legacy mines from previous conflicts and the SNMCMG1 group had just completed some live mine clearance activities off the coast of Normandy clearing mines left over from WW2.

EML Sakala M314 (4) @ Gallions Reach 19-11-14

As 7 ships were visiting they arrived and departed over two tides to allow sufficient time for the lock and berthing operations so some of the movements were during the night – unfortunately at this time of the year the days are short and the weather isn’t always the best so with warships you often get pictures with many shades of grey!

LVNS Talivaldis M06 (1) @ Gallions Reach 19-11-14

Click here for a few more pictures of the visitors.

HNLMS Zierikzee M862 (3) @ Gallions Reach 19-11-14


2 thoughts on “SNMCMG1 – Many shades of grey

  1. Pingback: The Thames & Royal Docks in 2014 – a retrospective | Dock, Lock and River

  2. Pingback: It’s all Mine! | Dock, Lock and River

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