Lithuanian and Dutch combat divers ready Baltic coastline for debarkation operation

As sec­ond phase of the multi­na­tion­al Exer­cise BALTOPS 2012 began com­bat divers of Lithua­nia and the Nether­lands pre­pare for the major day of the Exer­cise in the ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters of Lithua­nia on the Baltic Sea near Nemirse­ta (Palan­ga Dis­tr.) — debarka­tion oper­a­tion which is held in Lithua­nia for the first time.

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Per­son­nel of the Com­bat Divers Ser­vice of the Lithuan­ian Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Forces and the Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­pos­al Div­ing Unit of the Lithuan­ian Navy sur­vey sub­li­toral zone and recon­noitre seafloor of the Baltic Sea togeth­er with the per­son­nel of the Div­ing and Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­pos­al Group of the Roy­al Nether­lands Navy to pre­pare zones safe from naval mines for debarka­tion of Lithuan­ian and US mil­i­tary per­son­nel from float­ing tracked amphib­ians. Lithuan­ian SOF troops will also uti­lize com­bat board­ing boats for the oper­a­tion.

“We antic­i­pate suc­cess­ful coop­er­a­tion dur­ing the com­ing two weeks with com­bat divers from the Roy­al Nether­lands Navy which will con­tribute to an even clos­er inter­op­er­abil­i­ty among the multi­na­tion­al forces work­ing joint­ly in the spir­it of Part­ner­ship for Peace”, said Com­man­der of the Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­pos­al Div­ing Unit of the Lithuan­ian Navy Lt Cmdr Min­dau­gas Andrulis.

Sec­ond phase of the multi­na­tion­al Exer­cise BALTOPS 2012 focus­es on inte­grat­ed train­ing and fos­ter­ing of inter­op­er­abil­i­ty.

Over 130 mem­bers of the Unit­ed States Marine Corps, 8 mem­bers of the Div­ing and Explo­sive Ord­nance Dis­pos­al Group of the Roy­al Nether­lands Navy, one NATO staff offi­cer and more than 400 ground, naval, air and spe­cial oper­a­tions forces per­son­nel of Lithua­nia take part in the cur­rent phase of BALTOPS 2012.

BALTOPS 2012 which will con­clude on June 16 involves 12 coun­tries — USA, Lithua­nia, Latvia, Esto­nia, Ger­many, France, Den­mark, Poland, the Nether­lands, Geor­gia, Rus­sia, and Swe­den. The Exer­cise is held in the ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters of Ger­many, Poland, Lithua­nia and Esto­nia in the Baltic Sea.

Multi­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion in case of a cri­sis in the region is enhanced and secu­ri­ty in the Baltic Sea region fos­tered in BALTOPS 2012. Dur­ing the Exer­cise mil­i­tary forces will con­duct joint mar­itime oper­a­tions from manoeu­ver­ing and patrolling to joint oper­a­tions with oth­er forces — air and land.

USA first organ­ised the naval exer­cise BALTOPS in 1972. Since 1993 the series has been held under the Part­ner­ship for Peace pro­gram. Over four decades BALTOPS grew both in num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing forces and in mag­ni­tude becom­ing one of the largest train­ing events in the Baltic Region. Lithua­nia has been send­ing naval assets to take part in BALTOPS since 1994.

Source:
Min­istry of Nation­al Defense Repub­lic of Lithua­nia