Allied Maritime Command – NATO ships conduct historic ordnance disposal operations off the coast of France
The operation successfully removed 13 historic artillery pieces, reducing the risk of encountering mines in the water and making the area safer for all sailors.
During World War II, La Manche, also known as La Manche, was an area of numerous mining and coastal naval operations. Many of these historic munitions remain in the area and may pose a risk to the environment and to military, commercial and recreational activities.
In addition to making La Manche a safer place against historic munitions, SNMCMG1 benefited from the training and knowledge of French historic munitions disposal operations. When our teams work together and we share and learn from our combined resources, it improves all of our skills and makes future operations, like munitions disposal, safer and more efficient.
SNMCMG1 undertook the operation with flagship FGS Mosel (Germany), HMCS Kingston (Canada), HMCS Summerside (Canada), LNS Kursis (Lithuania), HMS Hurworth (Britain) and FS L ‘Aigle (France). The operation also included members of the U.S. Navy’s Mobile Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 8 under Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 deployed aboard Mosel.
The operation began on August 16 with a conference at sea, during which representatives of the French Navy coordinated with SNMCMG1 to determine roles and responsibilities in the area of operations. The diverse composition of SNMCMG1 provided the group with a wide range of technical capabilities to locate, identify and destroy historic munitions.
The assortment of methods and equipment also gave planners the opportunity to combine and test multiple combinations to ensure munitions approaches were the safest and most effective.
“As well as making The English Channel a safer place against historic munitions, SNMCMG1 benefited from the training and knowledge of French historic munitions disposal operations,” said SNMCMG1 Estonian Navy Commander Ott Laanemets. . “When our teams work together and we share and learn from our combined resources, it improves all of our skills and makes future operations, like ordnance disposal, safer and more efficient.”
SNMCMG1 is one of four standing naval forces that operate under NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, headquartered in Northwood, UK.