Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Big NATO Naval Drills Staged in Baltic

Standing NATO Maritime Group One and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One have been staging Exercise Northern Coasts 16 in the Baltic Sea.Led by Germany,it is a large exercise providing relevant training in an undisclosed fictitious yet realistic scenario,NATO said.As many as 38 naval units,including submarines,have traveled from 16 NATO and partner countries and are focusing on both surface and undersea warfare.
Rear Admiral Jose E. Delgado of the Spanish Navy says the naval forces will train as a single Task Group.By training together,NATO and partners strengthen their ability to effectively combine national assets in order to face any possible challenges in a maritime environment.This major exercise will prove NATO Standing Forces' capability to rapidly grow to a bigger multinational Task Group whenever and wherever it could be demanded,RADM Delgado said.The drills have been staged in the Baltic since 2007.*
Flagship for RADM Delgado is the frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez (F-104).Germany,Belgium and Portugal are also contributing frigates to the effort.The US Navy has sent Sailors from Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8,as well as the P8-A Poseidon surveillance aircraft for undersea warfare drills.EODMU 8 began participating on 2 September,exercising mine countermeasures and counter-IED response capabilities,building interoperability and sharing best practices with the Allies and partners.*
Those participating in Exercise Northern Coasts 16 include Spain,Portugal,Germany,France,Belgium,the Netherlands,Estonia,Latvia,Lithuania,Canada,the US,Denmark,Norway and NATO partners Sweden and Finland.

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