SA Navy hosts NATO sub rescue workgroup


The South African Navy is this week hosting the NATO Submarine Escape and Rescue Work Group (SMERWG).

The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Alliance) SMERWG is a multinational workgroup consisting of members of submarine operations nations worldwide, including non – NATO countries and South Africa as a submarine-operating nation has been a member of the SMERWG with a permanent status for a number of years.

The purpose of hosting the SMERWG is to enhance submarine escape and rescue procedures and systems as well as to promote closer cooperation, diplomatic and military relations with the member countries of the International NATO Standardisation Agency.

More than 100 delegates from NATO and non-NATO nations are expected to attend the SMERWG meeting in Cape Town.

“As a non–NATO Navy, the hosting of this important meeting by the South African Navy contributes significantly to cooperation and interoperability within and between non- NATO and NATO navies, particularly in the important area of Submarine Escape and Rescue,” the S Navy says in a statement.

“Furthermore, the meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for many of the South African Navy submariners, Navy divers and SAMHS Diving Medical Officers personnel to participate in this normally exclusive conference.”

The last SMERWG was held in Germany from 23 – 27 June 2008 and was attended by approximately 113 delegates from 13 NATO countries and 15 delegates from non-NATO countries.


The meeting will wrap up on Friday.