French Navy Report on BALTOPS 50 Operations

June 25, 2021 (Google Translation) – From June 6 to 18, the important annual naval exercise, dubbed BALTOPS 50, was held in the Baltic Sea. Sixteen NATO nations as well as two partner nations, eighty ships and four thousand people have come together to conduct this multi-domain training.

On this occasion, three ships were engaged under the operational control of the operational authority of the navy for the Atlantic coast (CECLANT) to carry the colors of France. These were the Tripartite Mine Hunter (CMT) Andromède , the Base Building for Clearance Divers (BBPD) Vulcan and the Deep Sea Patroller (PHM) Commandant Blaison . Feedback on their participation.

From crossing the Danish straits under an asymmetric threat to anti-submarine maneuvers off Lithuania, the crew of the PHM Commander Blaison found their place with American, Danish and Canadian frigates to conduct exercise BALTOPS 50. Au Rendezvous across the board, the crew served as an escort for the British and American amphibious units, and also engaged several opposing units.

For its part, the Andromeda integrated a group of eight other mine hunters under the tactical command of the Belgian vessel Godetia. The group took part in securing the Danish canal and then the approaches to the Polish beach of Ustka, on which an amphibious landing of NATO forces was preparing. In a complex context of mine threat and asymmetric threat, the Andromeda crew demonstrated their know-how by detecting and then identifying all the mines wet in their hunting zones.

Finally, the BBPD Vulcain , with on board a detachment of clearance divers from the Channel Clearance Divers Group (GPD), was integrated into a mine warfare group in the near coastal area. With the objective of recapturing a land area via an amphibious landing, the units coordinated to eliminate ammunition at sea and on land. French clearance divers participated in the recovery of certain land areas. This exercise also took place in a major German army training ground. It finally made it possible to implement numerous pyrotechnic neutralization means as well as a reconnaissance micro-drone. Realism was thus pushed to the maximum.

Evolving in a particularly complex and hostile environment where different types of threats intersect and coordinate, the French vessels were able to demonstrate their know-how throughout the exercise by brilliantly playing their respective scores. Allied ships have thus strengthened their ability to operate together with a view to ensuring freedom of navigation in landlocked areas, such as in the Baltic Sea.

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