Tower Bridge opens to welcome rare sight of Norwegian Nato ship

London's Tower Bridge opened to welcome the rare appearance of the Royal Norwegian Navy command ship HNoMS Nordkapp.

The flagship of Standing Nato Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) passed under Tower Bridge with crowds of onlookers waving and welcoming the crew on Thursday.

She is now moored alongside the Second World War warship HMS Belfast, which is permanently berthed on the River Thames.

Nato's standing mine countermeasures groups were created to dispose of naval mines that litter the seas of northern Europe – "the unhappy legacy of two world wars", the Royal Navy says.

According to Nato: The "SNMCMG1 is one of four standing forces that comprise the maritime component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF).

"SNMCMG1 is currently comprised of four assets: Estonian Navy Ensign Admiral Cowan, Royal Norwegian Navy flagship HNoMS Nordkapp, German Navy FGS Rottweil, and Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS Schiedam."

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