SNMG 1 ready for Exercise Dynamic Guard

Two Royal Navy Type 23 frigates HMS Iron Duke and Monmouth on February 12 arrived in the Norwegian city of Bergen ahead of NATO war games around the fjords.

Iron Duke is assigned to NATO’s Standing Group 1 – the first RN ship in more than a decade to attach to the formation, which patrols the Baltic and northern European waters.

That attachment so far has taken her to London and, slightly further afield, the Dutch capital Amsterdam as part of some joint training with the Royal Netherlands Navy.

That continued during the three-day passage to Bergen, which nestles in the fjords of western Norway, roughly on the same latitude as the Shetlands.

Over the weekend all ships in Bergen will attend the pre-sail conference for Exercise Dynamic Guard, a large-scale maritime exercise taking place next week.

In addition, two Norwegian ships – HNoMs Storm and Steil – will join the NATO group to make final preparations before deploying.

Rear Admiral José Delgado, the Spanish officer in charge of the NATO group which also comprises the Spanish frigate ESPS Álvaro de Bazán and supply ship ESPS Cantabria, said: “After a few days of a very productive training at sea, our crews will have the chance to know the historical city of Bergen, a symbol of Norwegian heritage, which I’m sure they will widely enjoy.”

“This port visit to Bergen will allow my units to coordinate upcoming exercises and be well prepared to maximise the outcome of the following training opportunities during Dynamic Guard.”

Dynamic Guard is not the sole workout in Norwegian waters lined up for Iron Duke and her NATO allies; next month they are due to participate in the sea phase of Cold Response, the regular NATO exercise which tests the ability of allied land, sea and air forces to operate in the hostile environment of snow, ice and temperatures as low as -30˚C.

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