Upon completion of the active duty in the NATO Response Force Lithuanian Naval ship LNS Jotvingis, a flag ship of Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group One (SNMCMG1), is returning to Klaipėda, Lithuania. Lithuanian Naval Officer Commander Giedrius Premeneckas will continue to command SNMCMG1 from this ship of Lithuanian Navy, which will be moored in Klaipėda Seaport up to the end of January 2015.
Laivas "Jotvingis"
© KAM

"Jotvingis" is due to berth in Klaipėda Seaport on 17 December and will be escorted by the two of the eight Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures ships - Talivaldis (Latvia) and Sakala (Estonia). The other ships of the formation have already returned to their places of permanent deployment in their own countries.

The ship welcoming ceremony will be attended by Vice Minister of National Defence Antanas Valys, Latvian Navy Commander Captain (Navy) Juris Roze and Chief of Staff of Estonian Navy CDR TMI. Jüri Saska.

Cdr. Premeneckas will be in command of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group up to 22 January. Later he will transfer the leadership to Dutch officer Commander Peter A. J. Bergen Henegouwen, who will be in charge of SNMCMG1 from German logistic supply ship Donau.

"I am happy that we have managed to successfully and quickly integrate ships for exercises and achieve good results," Cdr. Premeneckas says by underlining that NATO ships standby in SNMCMG1 the compound in a complex geopolitical situation has given military seamen not only useful experience but also ensured the effective functioning of the group, contributing to the overall effectiveness of the Alliance and regional security.

Lithuania is one of the first Baltic states to have been entrusted to lead the NATO compound by assigning group commander, also staffed support ship "Jotvingis" and staff personnel to the group. Lithuania was entrusted to lead the group of eight ships representing Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany.

Since the beginning of August 2014 NATO ships under command of Cdr. Premeneckas participated in a number of large-scale multinational exercise to include “North Shore 2014” in the territorial waters of Finland, joint forces military exercise “Joint Warior 2014” held in the north-west coast of Scotland, mine clearance operation "French Hodops" near the French coast, etc.

By demonstrating presence of Alliance in the region and solidarity, the ships visited many ports of NATO countries and partners in Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, France, sailing from one port to another ships participated in various tactical training of the compound.

SNMCMG1 is a multinationally formed maritime rapid response mine counter-measures unit providing NATO with a capability to provide mine counter-measures in peacetime, war or armed conflict.

SNMCMG1 completes at-sea mine clearance operations, and attends multinational training events within NATO framework and with NATO partners in the waters of Northern Europe.

SNMCMG1 mine-hunters and sweepers, supply ships, commander and staff are assigned by naval member states of NATO on a 6-to-12-month rotational basis.

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