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Roughly 40 allied ships and several thousands of naval personnel in Klaipėda

2018.05.30
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At 8.00 a.m. on May 31 Klaipėda Seaport will be entered one by one by 37 ships from 16 countries– roughly 4 thousand sea personnel will deploy to train in the largest annual international naval exercise BALTOPS 2018. This is the first time Lithuania has been entrusted with organisation of BALTOPS preparation phase.

 

The exercise will be based on a fictional scenario simulating a conflict between two fictional states. The training audience is will train in two groups, one will be rendering assistance and defending the attacked fictional state, the other will be the hostile force. It will give an excellent opportunity for the ship crew to test their readiness to complete military tasks in realistic conditions.

 

The exercise will trains ship manoeuvres in formations, ship escort, naval gunnery, anti-aircraft and anti-terrorist defence, mine hunt and sweep, submarine warfare, landing procedures, and other.

 

This largest NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea held on June 4-15 this year is organised by the Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) an will be commanded from aboard USS Mount Whitney by Commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti. The exercise objectives are to expand the scope of complex operations among the NATO and North European participants, improve and expand cooperation and interactions among the participating militaries, and take forward the level of expertise of the participating navies.

 

Not only the Lithuanian Navy but also cities of Klaipėda and Palanga are preparing for the event. Public transport of Klaipėda city and ferries are planned to be free of charge for the participants, they are also invited to visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum, Clock and Watch Museum, Lithuania Minor History Museum, Klaipėda University will show around its historical complex. Training seamen will have identification bracelets with BALTOPS 2018 symbols. Head of Klaipėda Seaport Arvydas Vaitkus says private businesses enjoy the opportunity of warships sailing in and claim to be proud that their pier is used for a mission as important as this one.

 

On June 1-2 exercise participants will visit Klaipėda schools and study tours to other Lithuania’s locations. On June 2 Public and Military Day will be celebrated at Atgimimo Square and nearby with equipment displays, blank firing ranges, sports matches and activities for children.

 

POC: Lithuanian Navy CIMIC specialist Seaman Apprentice Akvilė Bertulė, +370 46 391 207, [email protected]

 

Photo credits: Ieva Budzeikaitė

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