Standing NATO Maritime Group One completes Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 21

Navy News / July 20, 2021

North Atlantic Ocean – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1), which includes Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax and its crew, recently concluded its participation in Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 21 in the Norwegian Sea on July 9, 2021. 

Dynamic Mongoose 21 was a NATO-led maritime anti-submarine warfare interoperability exercise conducted from June 28 to July 9, with Norway serving as the host nation. It was designed to practice, demonstrate and refine the Alliance’s continued adaptation to an ever-evolving and challenging regional security environment in the High North and Arctic by improving NATO’s responsiveness to sub-surface threats while deterring any possible aggression from potential adversaries and reassuring partners and Allies.

The exercise training area was in the Norwegian Sea, which borders the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom gap, a natural naval chokepoint and a strategically important maritime transit route through which access to critical transatlantic sea lines of communication is obtained. Dynamic Mongoose 21 also provided training for high-intensity maritime operations in the harsh and unique arctic environment.

During the exercise, participating submarines exercised both submarine warfare and anti-submarine warfare while surface units and maritime patrol aircraft conducted sea control or sea denial-related naval tasks in preparation for future collective defence and crisis response operations.

Anti-submarine warfare, in particular, requires complex and close coordination between surface ships, submarines, maritime helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft to effectively find, track, and if necessary, neutralize enemy submarines. As such, each type of asset brings its own unique capabilities to the table which complements the capabilities of the others. For example, surface ships have a long endurance and can host anti-submarine warfare-capable maritime helicopters. Fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft can cover long distances and wide areas relatively quickly, while submarines are excellent at covert searches and tracking.

“Regular training between NATO Allies and multinational Standing Naval Forces like SNMG1 is a force multiplier, providing a collectively trained and highly interoperable capability that NATO could confidently deploy in response to an emerging crisis or conflict,” said Commodore Bradley Peats, Commander SNMG1, who is from the Royal Canadian Navy. “Exercising and validating each other’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities, tactics, techniques and procedures allows NATO to be better prepared to counter, and if necessary, defeat a subsurface threat.”

This was the second time that SNMG1 was in the Norwegian Sea this semester. Previously, SNMG1 conducted various high-intensity operations and training exercises with the Royal Norwegian Navy in February, including participation in a Task Group Exercise and Exercise Dynamic Guard. Dynamic Mongoose 21 was the final, joint, multinational collective defence exercise this semester for SNMG1. The SNMG1 flagship, HMCS Halifax, will return to its namesake homeport in Canada and be replaced by HMCS Fredericton for the next semester.