SNMG1 ships train with Polish Navy in Baltic Sea

After concluding exercises and at sea maneuvers with Lithuanian Navy units, ships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group One (SNMG1) started a series of naval exercises with the Polish Navy in the Baltic Sea.

The exercise got underway on Monday and included a number of basic and advanced maritime operations, from facing asymmetrical threats to warfare against surface ships, helicopters and fighter aircraft, as well as performing a simulated joint search and rescue operation.

Photo: HMCS St. John’s


The Polish 3rd Ship Flotilla out of Gdynia sent two air-defense frigates, two corvettes, an anti-submarine corvette, a fast attack craft, a tanker and auxiliary vessels for evolutions with the SNMG1. Air patrols will be provided by the An-28 B1R patrol reconnaissance aircraft, Kaman SH-2G on-board helicopter and the W-3 WARM rescue helicopter from the Naval Aviation Brigade. Further participants included Su-22, MIG-29 and F-16 aircraft from the Polish Air Force.

“The Polish Navy has pulled out a lot of resources to set up a complex scenario and are providing surface and air forces,” said Commodore Søren Thinggaard Larsen, Commander of SNMG1.

“With both European ships as well as a Canadian frigate, the presence of SNMG1 in the Baltic is a tangible sign of the transatlantic ties in NATO. Every exercise we conduct with the regional allies enhances our ability to work together across nations. In NATO we are ready, as one, and we are stronger together,” said Commodore Larsen.

SNMG1 commander Commodore Søren Thinggaard Larsen and Polish Navy Staff Communications Officer pose for a photo on HDMS Niels Juel during a RAS approach with Polish Navy tanker ORP Bałtyk on March 20. Photo: Commander Thorbjørn Hein, NATO


SNMG1 routinely patrols in the Baltic Sea providing regular opportunities to enhance interoperability among Allies. Since January, SNMG1 has trained with a number of allied counterparts in the Baltic Region, including Poland, Germany, Lithuania, and Latvia and now Poland has organised a second passing exercise.

SNMG1 currently consists of ships from Denmark, Canada, and Germany and is under the command of Royal Danish Navy Commodore Søren Thinggaard Larsen from aboard the group flagship HDMS Niels Juel.


Photo: HMCS St. John’s