RIGA - Today, a multinational group of six NATO warships, founded on this day 50 years ago, is docking in Riga, the NATO force integration unit informed LETA.
The group of ships formed half a century ago was originally called the Standing Force Naval Channel. Today it is known as NATO's 1st Standing Maritime Mine Countermeasures Group.
The mentioned group is one of the four permanent NATO naval groups that make up the naval components of the NATO Response Force. They act as an immediate reaction force, capable of immediate operations anywhere in peace and crisis, and provide the Alliance with information on the situation at sea and in ports in NATO's area of interest. The group's ships demonstrate NATO's presence at sea, which is critical to the alliance's security.
As the group's name suggests, the ships are specially equipped to clear shipping lanes and fishing areas of mines and other types of explosive objects left over from previous world wars. Clearing shipping lanes reduces the risks to ships and their crews, including commerce, related to the unplanned explosion of explosive objects, and contributes to environmental cleanup and prevention of pollution risks.
The group is capable of keeping shipping lanes accessible and open in times of war if needed, should nations use mines to close ports, canals and sea lanes.
The ship group that has arrived in Riga includes ships from Norway, Estonia, Germany, France and Belgium.
On Saturday, May 13, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., residents will have the opportunity to visit the open pier at Eksporta Street 3a.
At the event, it will be possible to get acquainted with the ship's equipment and meet the ship's crew members from the pier. Ships will not be opened for view.