Sailors of a Dozen Nations Wrap Up Baltic Exer­cis­es

Größere Kar­te­nan­sicht

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2009 — After 11 days of sea tri­als and more than 250 sep­a­rate events, a multi­na­tion­al naval exer­cise in the Baltic region is sched­uled to wrap up tomor­row.
The objec­tive for the 12 coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in BALTOPS – short for “Baltic Oper­a­tions” — is to learn to work togeth­er and form new ideas for dis­as­ter relief and human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance, Navy Rear Adm. John Chris­ten­son, the mis­sion com­man­der, said yes­ter­day dur­ing a “DoDLive” blog­gers roundtable. 

You don’t know what the dis­as­ter is going to be, but what­ev­er it is, if you’ve worked togeth­er, com­mu­ni­cat­ed togeth­er and devel­oped con­fi­dence in each oth­er, it makes the response a lot eas­i­er and a lot more effi­cient,” he said. 

Even though it’s an exer­cise, the events have sig­nif­i­cant impact, Chris­ten­son said. 

One of the big val­ues here is we’ve been explod­ing World War II ord­nance all week,” he said. “Close to 100,000 mines were seed­ed in the Baltic Sea in World War II, and the mine coun­ter­mea­sure ships here have done a great job of find­ing both exer­cise tor­pe­does and mines, but also real-world mines.” 

Find­ing the mines isn’t the only exam­ple of how the exer­cise has had a pos­i­tive effect on mariners. Using knowl­edge gained from BALTOPS’s annu­al ship-board­ing event, Swedish sailors cap­tured a pirate ship last year off the coast of Soma­lia, Chris­ten­son said. 

While there are dif­fer­ences among the col­lab­o­rat­ing navies and how they han­dle sit­u­a­tions, the exer­cise allows them to come togeth­er and devel­op prob­lem-solv­ing skills, said Swedish navy Lt. Cmdr. Jor­gen Bergman, the Swedish liai­son offi­cer aboard the USS Mount Whitney. 

When dif­fer­ent navies come togeth­er, usu­al­ly the first cou­ple of days are spent just being able to reach oth­er on var­i­ous fre­quen­cies and com­mu­ni­cate, and basic ship han­dling,” Chris­ten­son said. “We are all, in our hearts, sailors, but we do think dif­fer­ent ways. But this is the per­fect exer­cise to train togeth­er, do things togeth­er and devel­op our skills, to be team workers.” 

The 37th annu­al exer­cise ends tomor­row in Kiel, Ger­many, with what Chris­ten­son said is the largest gath­er­ing of sail ves­sels in the world. 

By Navy Pet­ty Offi­cer 3rd Class William Sel­by
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice (Navy Pet­ty Offi­cer 3rd Class William Sel­by serves in the Defense Media Activity’s emerg­ing media directorate.) 


Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →