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Bilateral naval exercise is held in the Baltic Sea

2015-04-22
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On April 21 through 28 BALTRON SQUADEX, an exercise of the Baltic Naval Squadron, BALTRON, is taking place in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea. The drills involve three Lithuanian and two Latvian warships, and a Mi-8 of the Lithuanian Air Force.

Lithuania is represented by the LNS SKALVIS (M53), the LNS KURŠIS (M54), and the patrol ship ŽEMAITIS (P11) of the Lithuanian Navy, while Latvia is represented by the command and supply ship LVNS VIRŠAITIS (A53) and the minehunter LVNS RUSINS (M08).

The bilateral exercise will train participating crews naval manoeuvring, mine hunting, artillery fire, antiaircraft defence, and asymmetric fight against a speedboats attack, also search and rescue, underway replenishment, and rescuing ships in distress, radio and alternative procedures of ship communication.

At the exercise the minehunter SKALVIS (M53) and her crew will be certified for assignment to the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) this May and June.

 

Lithuanian, Latvia and Estonia established the joint trilateral Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON), in the framework of the Baltic defence cooperation in 1998, it is a rapid response unit of warships whose main objectives are to contribute to the security in the Baltic Sea region, reduce the threat of mines in the territorials waters and exclusive economic zones of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the Baltic Sea, increasing mutual understanding and ability to work together, and to cooperate with military units of NATO allies. Lithuania and Latvia carry on with BALTRON activities alone since Estonia's withdrawal in 2015. Experience gained through such activities is useful as preparation for duties in the NATO Response Force or SNMCMG1.

In 2015 Lithuania posted two officers to BALTRON to the positions of the chief of the joint staff and staff officer. Also, in the firs semester of 2015 the minehunter Kuršis (M54), and in the second semester - the minehunter Sūduvis (M52) are assigned to BALTRON.

POC: CIMIC Officer of the Lithuanian Navy Lieutenant (Navy) Antanas Brencius, 00370 46 391 207, 00370 698 18 196

Photo credits: Sergeant Audrius Vitkauskas

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