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Lithuanian Navy officer to be in charge of a joint Mine Warfare Task Group at Exercise BALTOPS 2020

Lithuanian Navy officer to be in charge of a joint Mine Warfare Task Group at Exercise BALTOPS 2020

In the end of January representatives of the Lithuanian Navy took part in the Main Planning Conference of international Exercise Baltic Operations 2020 (BALTOPS 2020) in Ronneby, Kingdom of Sweden. Officer of the Lithuanian Navy, Cdr Audrius Venckūnas is planned to be in command of a joint Mine Warfare Task Group of BALTOPS 2020. The unit will be formed by the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1), units of mine countermeasures vessels of the Netherlands, and a combined Mine Warfare Unit.


BALTOPS 2020 will exercise sea, air, and land components to carry out ship maneuver in formations, ship convoy, gunnery, anti-aircraft and anti-terrorism defence, mine hunting and sweeping, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious landing, and other procedures.


Cdr A. Venckūnas (Lithuanian Navy) will also take over the command of SNMCMG1 in July from its current commander Cdr Peter Krogh (Denmark). The main SNMCMG1 tasks are to ensure its standing capability deployable in peacetime, crisis, or armed conflict.


SNMCMG1 can also be deployed to respond to crises, for demonstrating NATO presence in the region and solidarity, or for friendly port visits to NATO allies and partner countries. The units also serves as the main platform for the maritime component of the NATO Response Force.


Mine countermeasures and supply vessels, commander and staff of the units for completing SNMCMG1 tasks are assigned by maritime NATO allies on a 6-12-month rotational basis. The Lithuanian Navy has been delegating MCM ships almost annually since 2006 to serve within the NATO unit.


Information credits: Lithuanian Navy
Photo credits: Lithuanian Armed Forces