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The first vessels participating in the largest mine counter-measures operation in the Baltic Sea moor in Klaipeda

2007.08.23
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Two BALTRON (Baltic Squadron) vessels will moor in Klaipeda on August 24. They are the first coming participants of the largest Baltic Sea mine counter-measures operation held this year ”Baltic Spirit 07".

The operation will be held in Lithuanian territorial waters and exclusive economic zone from August 31 to September 10. 19 war ships will be representing 10 participating states. Klaipeda will host about 1000 soldiers. Lithuania will be represented by minehunters ”Kursis" (M51) and ”Suduvis" (M52).

The main goal of the operation is ensuring safe navigation in the Baltic Sea by seafloor exploration and removal of hazardous objects, by improving skills of ship crews, staff officers, and commands, and by facilitating cooperation and understanding of the participant countries.
The operation took place in Latvia for the first time in 1997 organised by Germany. This year it is the 11th operation annually held in one of the Baltic States. The main organiser of ”Open Spirit" is the German Mine Warfare Flotilla.
By tradition ”Operation Spirit" is divided into two parts: in spring naval forces representatives gather to the port of German Mine Warfare Flotilla in Olpenitz (Germany). During the meeting schedule for the autumn ”Open Spirit" is constituted. The operation concerns detection and disposal of various types of explosives (mines, bombs, torpedoes, etc.) remaining in the Baltic waters from the world War I and II as the majority of them threaten fishermen lives, navigation and sea ecology.
More than 100 explosives remnant from the World War I and II have been detected, identified and disposed of since 1996 during mineclearance operations in Lithuanian territorial and exclusive economic zone waters. Collected data is used for updating topographic information.

NATO Standing NRF Mine Counter Measures Group will come to Klaipeda on August 29.

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