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Exercise Loyal Mariner 2005
Admiral Danish Fleet Badge
28. November 2015



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Sailor 1st grade Brian Olsen is sitting in his office at Suderbovej, Frederikshavn thinking about the hectic weeks he just had.

Sunday afternoon, we were in position to survey the traffic in Skagerrak between Oakland (Norway) and Ashland (Denmark) as part of the multinational force which is supposed to ensure that the crisis does not come to a blow.

10 nm out from Hirtshals the Swedish navy ship KULLEN is hunting mines. It’s based with the 3rd Naval Combat Group in Karlskrona, and is one of 7 Swedish mine hunters from the LANDSORT-class, build 1986.

Today we visited the Danish minehunter HDMS STØREN operating in the assigned area north of the Danish town of Skagen, well known in Scandinavia as a holiday resort.

Frightened women and strong men was a reality in the dunes at Tranum beach, Denmark this morning during the largest evacuation supporting this years objectives for LOYAL MARINER 05.

In the real world, the terrorist leaders are hiding in the caves of Afghanistan, in a house in Baghdad, or in a flat in Madrid.

In the old days, when the slow wagon trains traveled cross the North American prairie, they were easy targets for the Indians on horses.

The Danish public holiday was spent in Skagerrak and the Northern part of Kattegat – same location as the last two weeks.

For the last week, the Swedish EOD team have been in Grenaa, Denmark to search the harbour.

For the first time, NATO has sent a corps of real journalists to participate in the exercise, LOYAL MARINER 05. The journalists act in the exercise as simulated press, SIMPRES.

JMAST (Joint Mobile Ashore Support Team) has moved into the Danish mine depot in Jerup during exercise LOYAL MARINER 05.

Doing the Naval exercise LOYAL MARINER 05, several diving and EOD teams participate.

On Friday afternoon at Naval Base Frederikshavn, you could have enjoyed the scene of a submarine coming in.

Friday 22. April is the last day of the serialized part of exercise LOYAL MARINER 05.

One of the elements of LOYAL MARINER 05 is to train evacuation and assistance to civilians doing a conflict.

How would you stop a terrorist attack? Blow on it!

From the outside it looks like an inspection vessel but only to the untrained eye. It doesn’t take much Navy experience to see that something is completely different. Everywhere antennas and satellite receivers are sticking out indicating that this ship can do more than the others.

The crew of the Danish corvette PETER TORDENSKIOLDs ran the entire gamut of emotions during Tuesday’s missile firings.

The dunes south of the old lighthouse at the top of Denmark at SKAGEN, shows many signs of the military history.

Today Danish and foreign media visited LOYAL MARINER 05. During the visit they were offered everything from terrorist attacks to paella.

At Naval Base Frederikshavn, Chif Petty Officer Claus Gustafsen runs the welfare office.

Together with a large part of the naval force from LOYAL MARINER 05 we were in Aalborg during the weekend, where Danish springtime presented itself at its best and our sistership NIELS JUEL was lying alongside.

In NATO´s Standing NRF Mine Counter Measure Group 1, (SNMCMG1), it is a Danish Lieutenant Commander (LtCdr) who gives the orders about everything from protection against attacks from all dimensions, mine hunting and level of alert.

In a windy part of the civilian harbour of Frederikshavn, trouble is starting. The Navy Home Guard must handle the situation.

With admirals and generals on board the SPS CASTILLA was today an obvious target for terrorists. When the attack came it luckily was a part of todays programme for the visitors.

In one corner of Naval Base Frederikshavn, a few meters below the quay, we found the enemy. They are painted in dark camouflage, so they almost become invisible against the dark water.

The Danish Navy’s mobile support unit, MLOG, is the land based technical backstop of the ships. Under LOYAL MARINER 05 they are back on the road.

A Sunday at a naval base, can some time be a sad and melancholic experience, with closed offices, empty facilities, and ship crew gone home for weekend.

The British supportship RFA FORT VICTORIA can supply warships with everything they need.

In Denmark we have a saying that “Without food and drinks nothing goes.”. This of course also applies for us on board PETER TORDENSKIOLD.

The NATO Response Forces (NRF) is a high readiness force designed for rapid response in the initial phase of a crisis situation, with the ability to execute a wide range of missions.

On the Latvian ship VIRSAITIS you can be greeted in Danish. That is if you bump into Janis Crucis.

It is not possible to conduct war without supplies. It’s as simple as that. During LOYAL MARINER 05 special support units are established in both Frederikshavn and Gothenburg to provide everything from explosives to hotel rooms.

The rotors from the helicopters are whirring; people are crying for help in the dark and trying to escape from their chasers.

In the beginning of next week the German mine hunter HERTEN will not search for mines but is – on the contrary – going to lay them. Before that the weekend will be spent in Gothenburg.

Wednesday NIELS JUEL conducted a NEO-exercise (Non-combatant Evacuation Operation) in the Boknafiord south of Bergen, Norway.

NIELS JUEL left Bergen Monday morning. On the way out of the fiord NIELS JUEL conducted an asymmetric threat exercise together with other units. It was possible to fire live shots which made the exercise very realistic.

We departed Frederikshavn as the fourth unit Tuesday afternoon. But everything onboard is not routine during an obstructed departure.

In the staff onboard HSwMs TROSSÖ we find the to Danish officers Anders Petersen and Søren Spodsbjerg. Their task is to certify the Danish MCM vessel HDMS STØREN, which is a part of Task Unit 445.08.04. As for the Swedish naval vessels it must be certified before it can participate in international operations.

In a remote corner of Naval Base Frederikshavn you find a number of unimpressive containers. From here an essential element in LOYAL MARINER 05 is controlled: the war against mines.

Aalborg (Denmark) will get a boost during the weekend 15. – 18. april when the 15 ships from exercise LOYAL MARINER 05 goes alongside with its 2000 sailors. The ships will be open to visitors providing the population of Aalborg an opportunity to experience the life onboard

For the sailors the hard work starts when the ships set for the sea. For others this means the hard work is over. At the support element it is now time to pause for breath.

The sick quarters at Naval Base Frederikshavn have been enforced with an extra ambulance from Air Station Aalborg. With the Naval Base full of sailors there is lots of work for the Emergency Medical Service.

- this time in Danish waters After a few obstacles the corvette HDMS PETER TORDENSKIOLD is now ready to participate in exercise LOYAL MARINER 05 that runs until the 29th of April.

The Norwegian Mine Control Vessel HNOMS TYR is not a minelayer in the traditional sense. It lowers its mines all the way down to the bottom of the sea so that they are easy to retrieve.

Naval Base Frederikshavn has been buzzing from activity over the last four days. The sailors have produced their own tracks in the asphalt between the ships on their way to gain the required knowledge before setting to sea Tuesday afternoon.

40 ships and crews in harbour and only 25 Military Policemen to handle everything. The Military Police at Naval Base Frederikshavn is busy during LOYAL MARINER 05.

A Naval Base filled with ships also means a lot of people to feed. The best cafeteria in the Danish Armed Forces is working hard to serve them all.

The handymen of the Naval Base reside at the North Pier. Here in a small workshop six men work hard to service 40 ships in the harbour.

For the Canadian Sub-lieutenant Poul Mathiesen comming to Denmark means something special. The thing is he is half Dane.

The Dutch Navy has a proud tradition for fighting mines but the threat from terrorists is difficult to relate to. LOYAL MARINER 05 is supposed to change that.

The bridge on board the Danish command platform THETIS provides a fantastic view: Naval Base Frederikshavn packed with Dannebrogs, Union Jack and other national flags on 40 ships from in total 13 nations.

LOYAL MARINER has barely started. But for Commander Senior Grade Anker Østrup the exercise itself marks the end of more than one year of planning. Since January 2004 LOYAL MARINER 05 has been his full time job.

The pre-sail conference for LOYAL MARINER 05 commenced almost simultaneously with the last unit arriving at Naval Base Frederikshavn.

While the main bulk of participating units in LOYAL MARINER 05 is alongside at Naval Base FREDERIKSHAVN and preparing for the three week exercise, the ships at Bergen, to be precise at Naval Base HAAKONSVERN, already finished their last preparations for the exercise

The large number of ships and aircraft that participate in LOYAL MARINER 05 clearly signals that this is a very extensive exercise. But its not only the size that is striking. Also the content itself is worth noticing, since new elements are introduced which to a very large extent reflect the reality we live in.

The many ships that participate in exercise LOYAL MARINER 05 are filling the piers at Naval Base Frederikshavn

Some of the participants in LOYAL MARINER 05 have travelled a long way to join the exercise. This is true for the 90 Canadians on board the mine hunters HMCS GOOSE BAY og HMCS SHAWINIGAN.

The air is still filled with the smell from fuel after yesterdays arrival of ships at Naval Base Frederikshavn before the next, the German tender LANGEROOG arrives during Saturday morning. The main bulk of Danish units participating in LOYAL MARINER 05, including the corvette PETER TORDENSKIOLD and the small corvettes GLENTEN, RAVNEN and VIBEN, arrive from Korsør late Saturday.

Naval Base Frederikshavn is humming with activity. Throughout the day ships from many countries have been arriving at the Naval Base in preparation for the ambitious exercise LOYAL MARINER.