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Royal Navy joins NATO allies for submarine wargames

Published: 13 May 2024

Royal Navy submarine hunters joined forces with allies in Norway to test their individual and collective skills against threats on and beneath the waves.

Frigate HMS Portland, tanker RFA Tidesurge and Merlin helicopters from 814 Naval Air Squadron were joined by submarines, warships and aircraft from ten nations for Exercise Dynamic Mongoose.

Held in the harsh icy waters between Norway and Iceland, it is designed to prepare NATO countries for any type of threat from the seabed to space, giving them the chance to adapt and prepare against hostile nations.

It is also an opportunity to train submarine crews from multiple countries to evade and respond from deep below the surface, while simultaneously training ships and aircraft to detect submarines and address threats below the waves. 

Units from the UK worked with personnel from Canada, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United States.

Type 23 frigate HMS Portland is one of the Royal Navy’s experts in anti-submarine warfare and she was tasked with helping to defend against the underwater threat.

Her Commanding Officer, Commander Mat Court, said: “As a key player in the multi-national exercise Dynamic Mongoose 24, the UK demonstrates its unwavering dedication to upholding maritime security through close collaboration with out NATO partners.

“Our involvement highlights the UK’s capability to operate seamlessly with allied forces, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of anti-submarine warfare and contribute effectively to the collective defence of the North Atlantic region.

“HMS Portland’s participation underscores our commitment to maintaining a robust and agile force, capable of responding to a wide range of threats and challenges in partnership with our allies.”

Dynamic Mongoose included submarines from the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States as well as aircraft from Canada, Germany, Norway, the UK and the US.

Units were also joined by ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) which typically patrols the no commanded by Spanish Navy Rear Admiral Joaquin Ruiz Escagedo aboard flagship ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón.

It was also the first time Sweden has taken part in the wargames.

Commander Submarines NATO US Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Wall said: “We are excited to incorporate the stealth of one of Sweden’s advanced, silent Gotland-class submarines into Dynamic Mongoose this year.

“We’ve been collaborating with the Swedish Navy for many years so the interoperability is already there.

“They bring the experience of a submarine crew well versed in shallow water operations so to have them in our Allied maritime force composition firmly enhances our collective defence in the region.”

He added: “The crew of every single submarine, ship, and aircraft participating in this exercise bring a unique perspective and valuable capability to the table. I continue to be proud of the work they have done and now it’s time to put it all into practice.


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