Stalking the deep with NATO’s mine hunters
Sea mines are devastating weapons. Cheap to produce and relatively easy to field, they can make shipping lanes and straits impassable to military and civilian maritime traffic. Even the threat of sea mines can bring economies to a standstill.
To address the threat of sea mines, the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups (SNMCMGs) patrol the Alliance’s waters 365 days a year. In this piece, the commander of SNMCMG2, which is currently charged with securing the Mediterranean Sea region, explains how NATO counters the danger of sea mines, and also how the flotilla provides a humanitarian service by neutralising unexploded ordnance from conflicts past.. As part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), the SNMCMGs are rapidly deployable in the event of a crisis.
Footage includes shots of the SNMCMG-2 ships at sea, conducting countermine activities (searching for mines with sonar, launching remotely-operated vehicles, and divers), and conducting counter-threat drills. Interviews include Royal Navy Commander Justin Hains, commander of SNMCMG-2. Hains will turn over command of the group in July.