Nato mine countermeasures exercise Dynamic Move 23-1 that saw participation of experts from 20 countries, has concluded in Belgium.

This exercise began on 23 January and continued until today at the Belgian Navy Academy in Ostend.

It is Nato Allied Maritime Command’s (MARCOM) tactical-level computer-assisted naval mine countermeasures (NMCM) command post exercise that is held bi-annually.

The goal of this two-week exercise was to aid multinational teams from the Standing Nato Mine Countermeasures groups to carry out mine countermeasures operations across the complete spectrum for Nato Response Force certification as well as train national mine countermeasures personnel.

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It also acted as platform for analysis of new doctrines and experimental tactics.

Naval mine warfare is an important capability to ensure the maintenance of the sea lines of communication and exercise sea control as well as sea denial. Therefore, this exercise is seen as a critical training platform for the participants.

Although the exercise was carried out only on land, it enabled participants to leverage a special war-gaming computer system at the navy academy and its experience in the field.

During the exercise, participants simulated the multi-layered coordination between uncrewed underwater, surface, and air assets to carry out mine countermeasures operations at sea.

Although based on a fictitious scenario while leveraging real geography, the exercise enabled the participants to make use of realistic calculations to address challenges, such as time required for mine clearance tasks, logistics and expected mine drift distance and direction.

The participants practised the command-and-control requirements to manage several minesweepers and mine hunters operating in a varied type of water depth, bottom structure and weather in several locations.

Royal Norwegian Navy commander and Standing Nato Mine Countermeasures Group 1 commander Ole Torstein Sjo said: “This exercise helps prepare and train command staffs in complex operational environment.

“It is perhaps the most important venue where the mine countermeasures community can meet and discuss core business, experimental tactics and future ideas in an informal setting across ranks and expertise areas.”  

Dynamic Move 23-1 saw over 110 participants and planners from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the US and as well as observers from Nato partners Egypt, Türkiye, New Zealand, and Ukraine.

Based in Northwood, UK, MARCOM is the central command of all Nato maritime forces and the MARCOM commander is the primary maritime adviser to the alliance.

Just as its land and air counterparts – LANDCOM and AIRCOM, MARCOM reports directly to Nato’s Allied Command Operations (ACO), which is based in Belgium.

In September 2022, Nato Naval Mine Warfare Centre personnel from a total of 14 allied and partner nations took part in Dynamic Move 2022 exercise held at the La Spezia Naval Base in Italy.