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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » October 24, 2002
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Ready to React
October 24, 2002 By Marek Grzybowski   
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The Polish ORP Mewa warship inaugurated Oct.12 the permanent presence of the Polish Navy within the NATO Rapid Reaction Force.

The ORP Mewa, a mine sweeper from the Ninth Coast Defense Fleet in Hel, has been operating within NATO MCM Fornorth (Mine CounterMeasure Forces North) since Oct. 12, when the commander of the ORP Mewa, Capt. Cezary Gnoza, ordered the NATO flag to be hoisted, unveiling the MCM Fornorth identification insignia on the ship's hull.

On the following day, the ship put out to sea together with other NATO units. These forces are being maintained in permanent combat readiness to participate in peace-keeping operations, to react to crisis situations and to war. The ORP Mewa will be subordinated to the MCM Fornorth commander for a period of two months.

Within MCM Fornorth, ORP Mewa participates in the international maneuvers of mine defense forces Open Spirit 2002 and Passex exercises, cooperating with the navies of Finland, Denmark and Germany.
MCM Fornorth, deferred to the NATO Joint Forces Headquarters in Europe, is a permanent international system of NATO mine defense vessels within the NATO Rapid Reaction Force. MCM Fornorth ships operate in the Atlantic and in all European seas. They are the best prepared and most modern mine defense systems in the world.

In 1998-99, the ORP Mewa underwent thorough modernization with a view to meeting the most recent NATO standards. It has participated in the Alliance's international mine defense maneuvers many times, including Baltops, Sandy Coast, Blue Game, Squadex, Strong Resolve and Passex. It has led operations in destroying combat torpedoes left over from World War II and was proclaimed the best ship in the Polish Navy in 2000.
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