NATO Begins Anti-Submarine Exercise In North Sea Amid Tensions With Russia

NATO has launched a major anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea, including non-member nation Sweden for the first time amid rising tensions with Russia.

The anti-submarine exercise, dubbed “Dynamic Mongoose,” according to Reuters, will involve vessels from 11 different countries. The war game is designed to simulate detection and engagement with submarines in challenging seas, marked by rapid currents, high sound pollution from nearby fjords, and extremely rugged and shallow terrain.

The exercise comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and its northern neighbors, spurred by the former communist state’s annexation of the Crimea last year. Recently, former Soviet state Latvia claimed that it had detected a Russian submarine in its territorial waters, while last week Finland dropped depth charges on a suspected submarine, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Last year, Swedish forces investigated a suspected Russian submarine near Stockholm after multiple visual sightings.

According to Rear Admiral Brad Williamson, who will direct the exercise, Dynamic Mongoose isn’t a response to Russian activities, though the recent incidents highlight the relevance of such training.

“Russia has a right to be at sea, just as we do, but the incidents we have seen are not in line with international regulations… and that’s been the cause of concern.”

Four submarines will be taking part in the exercise, and will be tasked with approaching the surface vessels and targeting them without being detected. One of the submarines involved in the exercise belongs to Sweden, while another, the U33, has been provided by Germany. Kai Nickelsdorf, who captains the U33, related his belief that the hunting of enemy submarines represents “the most difficult task in all of naval and NATO tasks.”

According to Ukraine Today, the exercise will also involve four helicopters from France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which will aid in detecting the submarine force. Commodore lole Morten Sandquist, Commander Of The Norwegian Fleet, explained the larger goals of Dynamic Mongoose in terms of personnel training, noting that those aboard the submarines would be honing their skills as well.

“The exercise is an Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise where the main aim is to train the surface force along with the MPA (maritime patrol aircraft) and helicopters and, of course, submarines to enhance the skills of anti-submarine warfare training.”

Dynamic Mongoose is an annual exercise, previously held in February of 2014, which provides a rare opportunity for NATO forces to train in challenging conditions with live submarines.

[Image via Royal Navy]