Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) began conducting Naval Electro Magnetic Operations (NEMO) trials off the coast of the United Kingdom on 1 November, according to a US Navy news release.
Developed by NATO’s Above Water Warfare Capability Group (AWWCG), NEMO provides a venue for the alliance to evaluate the effectiveness and validate NATO Electronic Warfare (EW) tactics and systems. “While the impact of electronic warfare cannot always be physically seen, the potential effects it can have on maritime, air and land assets can be devastating if they are not detected early enough to prevent or combat,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Junae Glover, SNMG1’s staff chief EW specialist. “Having the opportunity to see the capabilities of our electronic systems while under simulated pressure during NEMO will allow forces to increase their knowledge and understanding of the warfare area.”
The current NEMO trials will see a focus on force anti-ship missile defence, demonstrating improved means of achieving force defence to minimise the threat to NATO maritime forces. The exercise also offers an opportunity for experimental tactics and procedures to be evaluated prior to NATO adopting them as formal doctrine for use by allied nations.
“With over 70 years of experience building common doctrine and procedures, as well as interoperable systems, the alliance remains committed to staying at the forefront of technology, including in critical maritime areas like electronic warfare and anti-ship missile defence,” commented US Navy Rear Adm Edward Cashman, commander of SNMG1 and head of the NEMO trial 2019 forces. “While NEMO has a science and technology focus on electromagnetic operations, the exercise will also offer NATO an opportunity to evaluate tactics, techniques and procedures, providing feedback to allied nations on the effectiveness of existing doctrine. As the maritime landscape continues to evolve, exercises such as NEMO will help maintain alliance nation forces at the forefront of capabilities while also demonstrating readiness and interoperability to any potential aggressors,” he added.
Aircraft from the United Kingdom Joint Support Air Tasking Organisation and other air assets will participate in NEMO to provide realistic threat simulation. Maritime forces and land-based assets will also work simultaneously, ensuring allied nations take advantage of the opportunity to learn methods to exploit electronic warfare capabilities in a rapidly changing technical environment.
SNMG1 includes the flagship guided-missile destroyer USS GRIDLEY (DDG 101), the Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS THOR HEYERDAHL (F-314), the Belgian Navy frigate LEOPOLD I (F930), the Portuguese Navy frigate NRP D FRANCISCO DE ALMEIDA (F334), and the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS VAN SPEIJK (F 828).
SNMG1 is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capabilities of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), providing a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among allied naval forces.