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Submarine surveillance exercise in Icelandic waters

19.6.2017

An annual NATO submarine surveillance exercise will be held in the waters south of Iceland, 23 June to July 6. The exercise named Dynamic Mongoose 2017 draws on assets and personnel from nine NATO Allies; USA, Norway, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, Poland and the Netherlands, which contribute five submarines, nine frigates and one research vessel, as well as 6-8 aircraft and helicopters. More than two thousand crew members will participate in the exercise. In previous years the Dynamic submarine surveillance exercises have been held in Norwegian waters.

“Iceland is part and parcel of the rapidly evolving and complex security environment we face in the North-Atlantic. The Dynamic Mongoose exercise is a sign of an increased focus on the vast area around Iceland and an important factor in strengthening both areal monitoring and analysis," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Gudlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

Iceland provides facilities within the security area at Keflavik Airport and the Icelandic Coast Guard participates in the exercise with the vessel Týr, flight crews and search and rescue helicopters. Normally the NATO Command in Northwood, United Kingdom, would command such an exercise but for the first time the command will be moved to the security area at Keflavik Airport.

In connection with the exercise, a special event has been organised to commemorate the 75th anniversary of allied convoys to Russia in World War II, in particular the PQ17 convoy, which took off from Hvalfjörður in Iceland, towards Kola penisula in Russia at the height of the war in 1942. "It is appropriate to commemorate the history of this largest allied convoy to the Soviet Union, which took off from Hvalfjörður late June 1942. Over one hundred crew members perished in the North Atlantic in the days that followed, with only 11 out of 36 ships making it to shore in Russia," says the Foreign Minister. On the morning of 23 June naval vessels, led by the Icelandic Coast Guard, will sail from Faxaflói to Hvalfjörður, commemorating those who were killed in attacks on the convoy.

During the weekend of 23-25 June, as well as at the end of the exercise, some participating vessels will dock at Reykjavík Harbor. On Friday 23 June a conference on security and defense in the North Atlantic will be held on in Reykjavik by Varðberg and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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