BALTOPS 2018 Daily Update: June 14

Vice Adm. Clive Johnstone, Royal Navy, commander, NATO Allied Maritime Command; traveled to the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) to meet with Vice. Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO); and Rear Adm. Guy Robinson, OBE, Royal Navy, deputy commander, STRIKFORNATO.

The lvaro de Bazan-class frigate ESPS Alvaro De Bazan (F101), the Gabya-class frigate TCS Gediz (F-495), the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Niels Juel (F363), and USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) conducted anti-surface drills in a fast attack craft (FAC) / fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) exercise.

Rear Adm. Soren Thinggaard Larsen, commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) visited the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20).

The Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) completed a backload of Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) who had trained at the Ustka Range Complex in Ustka, Poland.

Mine countermeasure operations completed of the coast of Ravlunda, Sweden, and Bornholm Island, Denmark.

Three MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters from Denmark and the United States performed a flyover for the ESPS Alvaro De Bazan (F101), HDMS Niels Juel (F363), TCS Gediz (F-495), and USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20).

BALTOPS is an annual joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise scheduled for June 1-15, 2018. It is designed to improve training value for participants enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. The exercise will involve maritime, ground, and air forces so as to strengthen combined response capabilities necessary to ensure regional stability.

During the two week BALTOPS exercise, over 100 drills in surface, subsurface, air defense, mine counter measures, maritime interdictions, and joint personnel recovery were completed among the 43 maritime units, 60 aircraft, and approximate 5,000 maritime, ground, and air force.

Participating nations in BALTOPS include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.