Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BALTOPS 2016:NATO Maritime Wargames Underway

Seventeen NATO member countries and partner nations are participating in BALTOPS 2016,the 44th iteration of the maritime wargames in the Baltic Sea region.Flagship of the exercise is the USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20),which is also flagship of Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and the US Navy's 6th Fleet.Upgraded during a 2015 maintenance period,the Mount Whitney is a command and control platform with specialised capability.*
BALTOPS 16 will demonstrate the use of sea-based platforms to rapidly reinforce a crisis area by delivering material,equipment and forces whenever and wherever they are needed.Forces called upon will include more than 60 aircraft delivering nearly 90 sorties a day,among them US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers;joint/shared aircraft;more than approximately 800 amphibious troops;and 45 ships and submarines.
The drills will result in a higher state of readiness;improved interoperability with NATO and partner nations and confidence in their ability to operate together in a time of crisis.It is an excellent opportunity for personnel to engage in realistic maritime training;to build experience,teamwork and strengthen our interoperability in order to promote security of the Baltic region,said US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet.BALTOPS demonstrates the Alliance and its partners are ready for and capable of dealing with any contingency through its combat enhancement training and force integrated training amphibious landings,as well as mine clearing training.

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