Estonian minehunter Admiral Cowan has returned to its home port after five-month service in the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1).
The Admiral Cowen was part of SNMCMG1 from July 13, participating in various exercises and mine countermeasures (MCM) operations in Lithuanian, Norwegian, Belgian, Dutch, Danish, German, Swedish, Polish, Latvian and Estonian waters, military spokespeople said.
During this period, the Estonian minehunter took part in the Sandy Coast, NORHOD, DNKHOD, ESTHOD, LATHOD and LITHOD exercises. With close to 687 hours of minehunting activities conducted, altogether 607 underwater contacts were identified, 15 historical explosives found and nine of them destroyed. Also found were six training mines and a nearly 90-meter wreck of a warship that had thus far gone undetected in the Estonian territorial waters.
"Strict restrictions on movement at ports prompted by the coronavirus significantly affected the mine countermeasures group's organization of work. Crew members had to cope with new situations, scarce recreational facilities and increased stress. Retrospectively, it can be said that this instructive experience proved the high technical and moral preparedness of the crew aboard the Admiral Cowan," said the commander of the minehunter, Lt. Cmdr. Tanel Kangro.
The core of SNMCMG1 was made up of vessels of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, German, Norwegian, Belgian and Dutch navies with units from the Danish, French and Finnish navies temporarily joining the group. The mine countermeasures group aboard the Admiral Cowan consists of 38 naval personnel, including five conscripts and three MCM divers.
Editor: Helen Wright