NATO

Danish Navy Ship To Start Training At Devonport

HDMS Esbern Snare will be one of only a few foreign vessels to train at Devonport this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the Royal Danish Navy's largest ships is preparing for training at Devonport in Plymouth.

HDMS Esbern Snare, one of five major warships in the Royal Danish Navy, will undergo Fleet Operational Sea Training at the Devon base in the coming weeks.

HMNB Devonport is often used by international partners for training. 

According to the Royal Navy, it is the largest naval base in western Europe - covering more than 650 acres, with 15 dry docks and four miles of waterfront. 

Commander Peter Soenderkjoege-Hansen, HDMS Esbern Snare’s Executive Officer, told Forces News: "It's more or less seamless for us to integrate within the training cycles that we have here and then we can transfer it back when we come home to Denmark."

On average, up to 20 foreign ships train at Devonport each year but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HDMS Esbern Snare will be one of the first in 2020.

And, because COVID-19 stopped some of Denmark's military training, HDMS Esbern Snare is the first ship some junior sailors have been on.

In total, there are 120 sailors on board HDMS Esbern Snare.

Junior Rating Martin Hornbjerg, HDMS Esbern Snare, said the halt in training caused by the coronavirus pandemic was "annoying".

"We were sent home for a long period of time and we couldn't prepare much because we weren't allowed to work to come back to the ship before we sailed again," he said.

But now, getting back up to speed with training is seen as a welcome boost.

Junior Rating Natasha Loehr-Petersen, HDMS Esbern Snare, said the chance to explore was what "really drew" her to the Danish navy.

"Four days ago we were in Germany and now we are in England," she said. "It's very exciting and I find myself so lucky to be a part of it everyday."

After completing training later this year, HDMS Esbern Snare is expected to be deployed on a NATO mission in 2021.