Dynamic Mongoose: Finding submarines in the Atlantic

NATO’s Atlantic Ocean submarine-searching exercise, Dynamic Mongoose, is currently taking place in the waters between Iceland and Norway. The exercise began on April 26th and ends on Friday, or May 5th. It is a drill held annually since 2012 and is largely conducted in the Faroe Islands.

A journalist and photographer for Morgunblaðið and mbl.is were invited last weekend to board the Danish freighter HDMS Niels Juel (F363), where it was docked at Þórshöfn harbour in the Faroe Islands. From there, the ship proceeded out to sea and set sail for a NATO exercise, training anti-submarine warfare.

From Niels Juel, the Morgunblaðið guests were presented with a unique opportunity to observe Danish, German, and Faroese crew members and pilots working closely together on the daunting task of submarine exploration. Their management tends to compare submarine exploration to a team sport in which different weapon systems work together as a unit. Everything has to be done properly if submarines are to be found under the surface.

Emergency scene set in motion

The vessels that trained together that day were the Danish frigate HDMS Niels Juel and HDMS Hvidbjørnen (F360), the German freighter Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (F218) and the Faroese coastguard ship Brimil. To assist the vessels were the MH-60R Seahawk and Sea Lynx Mk88 helicopters.

The Morgunblaðið team were also given a glimpse into the operational control of the frigate, one of Niels Juel's most important spaces, from which the ship's weapons systems are controlled. No one may enter this space unless they leave all the smart equipment outside. The reason is that the smart technology can be used to spy on the sensitive activities that are taking place.

In addition, a shipboard emergency was established during a fire drill in one of the ship's engine compartments. An uncontrolled fire there can easily cause complete destruction.

A total of eleven NATO member states participate in Dynamic Mongoose, i.e. warships from the United States, the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The Icelandic Coast Guard will participate on behalf of Iceland.

Some of the warships are expected to arrive at the harbor in Reykjavík.




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