Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Baltops 09 Kicks Off Today

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael T. Rumbach, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

KARLSKRONA, Sweden (NNS) -- Maritime forces from 12 countries will participate in the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea June 8-19.

The Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise is an annual event aimed at improving interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.

"During the exercise, Sailors will work side-by-side with other personnel from partner nations while they are in port and underway," said Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, embarked aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) during a press conference on board the ship.

"They will become familiar with the other militaries' operations, procedures and practices."

Christenson, the officer in tactical command for the exercise, was joined Swedish Rear Adm. Anders Grenstad at the press conference. Grenstad is the Royal Swedish Navy chief of staff and commander, Maritime Component Command. He is the Swedish equivalent of the U.S. Navy's chief of naval operations.

"BALTOPS provides the opportunity for personnel of all participating nations to engage in realistic and challenging maritime training to build experience, cooperation and teamwork," said Christenson.

Sweden is hosting the in-port final planning phase and has organized various official and unofficial activities ranging from a harbor celebration to sporting events. The goal is to get Sailors from different nations together to form strong bonds before the exercise begins.

"The interaction of our forces recreationally is essential for interaction professionally, tearing down barriers between cultures," Grenstad said. "The personal relationships developed at these events allow our Sailors to really understand one another. This translates directly to our operational capability when we are underway together."

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the exercise. The U.S. participants believe this is an example of how teamwork among different nations helps to increase stability, diminish threats to peace and strengthens relationships between nations.

"The Baltic Sea provides a unique training opportunity due to heavy commercial shipping traffic and the inherently unpredictable nature of the sea itself," Grenstad said.

"It's vital for our Sailors to conduct realistic training in unfamiliar waters, and it provides an important opportunity for them to see the world. This greatly affects their quality of life," Christenson added.

This is the 37th iteration of BALTOPS, intended to improve interoperability with partner nations by conducting peace support operations at sea, including gunnery exercises, replenishments at sea, undersea warfare, radar tracking, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and scenarios dealing with potential real-world crises and maritime security.


Exercise areas. Exercise areas.
Area A Area A
543000N 0155000E-543000N 0154000E-543702N 0141906E- 543000N 0155000E-543000N 0154000E-543702N 0141906E -
545000N 0134000E-551200N 0134000E-553000N 0144500E- 545000N 0134000E-551200N 0134000E-553000N 0144500E -
553000N 0151500E-560000N 0170000E-560000N 0183000E- 553000N 0151500E-560000N 0170000E-560000N 0183000E -
550500N 0183000E-550500N 0162000E-545000N 0155000E- 550500N 0183000E-550500N 0162000E-545000N 0155000E -
543000N 0155000E 543000N 0155000E 543000N 0155000E 543000N 0155000E
Vertical limits FL195 Vertical limits FL195

Area B Area B
562100N 0150734E-561332N 0150552E-560716N 0150654E- 562100N 0150734E-561332N 0150552E-560716N 0150654E -
560617N 0151955E-561208N 0152453E-562016N 0153755E- 560617N 0151955E-561208N 0152453E-562016N 0153755E -
561000N 0163000E-560000N 0170000E-553000N 0151500E- 561000N 0163000E-560000N 0170000E-553000N 0151500E -
553000N 0144500E-553000N 0143000E-554350N 0140830E- 553000N 0144500E-553000N 0143000E-554350N 0140830E -
555438N 0141600E-560730N 0141435E-561255N 0142349E- 555438N 0141600E-560730N 0141435E-561255N 0142349E -
562100N 0150734E 562100N 0150734E 562100N 0150734E 562100N 0150734E
Vertical limits FL95 Vertical limits FL95

Area C Area C
545000N 0134000E-545000N 0132000E-544000N 0125000E- 545000N 0134000E-545000N 0132000E-544000N 0125000E -
544000N 0123000E-550000N 0124000E-551000N 0131000E- 544000N 0123000E-550000N 0124000E-551000N 0131000E -
551200N 0134000E-54500N 0134000E 551200N 0134000E-54500N 0134000E

Participants in the exercise:

HDMS Thetis F 357
HNLMS Makkum M 857
HMS Brocklesby M 33
BNS Bellis M 916
FGS Sulzbach-Rosenber M 1062

USS Mount Whitney LCC 20
USS Forrest Sherman DDG 98

FGS Karlsruhe F 212
FGS Hameln M 1092
FGS Seehund 01
FGS Seehund 03
FGS Puma P 6122
FGS Nerz P 6124
FGS Zobel P 6125
FGS Elbe A 511

HMS St Albans

HNLMS Mercuur A 900
HNLMS Maasluis M 856
HNLMS Haarlem M 853
HNLMS Van Kinsbergen A 902

HDMS Ebsern Snare L 17
HDMS Peter Tordenskhold F 356
HDMS Havkatten P 552
HDMS Makrelen P 554
HDMS Glenten P 557

LVS Virsaitis A 53
LTNS ???
ENS ???

H(SW)MS Visborg M 03
H(SW)MS Vinga M 75
H(SW)MS Sturkö M 14

FS Pegase M 644
FS Sagittaire M 650

FNS Hamina 80
FNS Hanko 82


2273.2 kHz Link 11
5102.5 kHz Baltops 2009 Network Coordination

Net Calls:


BF - USS Mount Whitney CP Management Link 11
KAR - Karlsruhe
PUM - Puma
ESB - Esbern Snare
ELB - Elbe
ZOB - Zobel
FSH - USS Forrest Sherman
HAM - Hamelin
PET or PTR - Peter Tordenskiold
MAK or MKR - Makrelen
STA - ST Albans
MTW - Mount Whitney
THS - Thetis
NER - Nerz