Poland: SNMCMG1 Crew Heads for Sea Drills with New Commander, Team

SNMCMG1 Crew Heads for Sea Drills with New Commander, Team

Last Monday,the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) left the port of Gdynia, Poland with a new commander at the helm and new ships. The first days at sea are usually used for ships and crew to get acquainted with the new command and with the respective capabilities of each vessel.

The crew of SNMCMG1 also conducted a series of simulated damage control and fire fighting drills.

The exercise began with simulated fires spreading throughout the command ship, ORP ‘Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki’, while her crew was busy containing multiple simulated breaches in the hull. The scenario also included several injured crew members requiring urgent medical evacuation. The variety of the incidents is paramount to ensure that the ships can handle a wide range of tasks at the same time. The crew of ORP ‘Czajka’ and FGS ‘Weilheim’ were called upon to assist the flagship with repairs and fire fighting. The drill ended with the simulated towing of the crippled ship by the rest of the group.

During the night, flash-light exercises were conducted to ensure the ships are able to communicate by Morse code. These trainings are organised to maintain the highest standard of readiness at night and to guarantee that command signals can be transmitted in more than one way, should primary systems fail.
The crew are now preparing for the ‘Neustadt harbour phase’: a series of drills designed to train the group in the field of fire fighting, damage control and medical interventions while the ships are at port. These intensive exercises will be conducted at the German Damage Control Training Centre, in Neustadt.
SNMCMG1 is currently composed of the flagship ORP ‘Kontradmiral X. Czernicki’ and two mine hunters: German FGS ‘Weilheim’ and Polish ORP ‘Czajka’. In the first half of 2013 the Group will be joined by other mine hunters from Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway.

Naval Today Staff, January 31, 2013; Image: NATO