Friday, September 14, 2012

Exercise Northern Coasts Draws to a Close

By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Danish and German-led Exercise Northern Coasts (NOCO) 2012 came to an end after ten days at sea, Sept. 12.

During the exercise, more than 40 ships from 15 nations participated in NOCO 2012 including one of the standing NATO mine countermeasures groups (SNMCMG1) and the Baltic countermine squadron.

The mine hunters not only conducted simulated mine countermeasure training, they located and demolished several mines that have been on the sea bed since World War II.

"It was a good exercise," said Danish navy Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, commander, Danish Task Group. "Since it was the largest Danish led naval exercise ever, I was naturally excited to see how it would go. I can only say that I am satisfied with what I saw. The participating ships did a good job and my staff was able to adapt the exercise along the way."

U.S. participation included a P-3 Orion aircraft from Patrol Squadron Nine, out of Honolulu, and Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, out of Rota, Spain. Sailors operated with counterparts from partner nations in Germany and in Danish Navy Bases to become familiar with procedures and practices.

"This just shows that there's a short way from exercise to reality," said Jensen. "Some of the situations we exposed the NOCO participants to, they will most likely meet in the real world. Now, at least, they are better prepared."