BALTIC SEA (NNS) -- Eight members of the international media embarked the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20). They received a tour of the ship, watched an air defense exercise and conducted interviews with Vice. Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), and Rear Adm. Guy Robinson, OBE, Royal Navy, deputy commander, STRIKFORNATO.
Franchetti traveled to Naval Base Gydnia, Poland, to meet with Rear Adm. Miroslaw Mordel, inspector, Polish Navy.
The Gabya-class frigate TCS Gediz (F-495) conducted a replenishment at-sea with the Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Frankfurt A.M. (A1412).
Ships assigned to Commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 and the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) conducted air defense exercises where simulated coordinated attacks were performed by 13 aircraft to include, Polish F-16 Fighting Flacons, American F-15 Eagles, and Lear Jets
The Sdermanland-class submarine HSwMS Sdermanland and 10 ships from seven nations conducted a surface exercise to test the effectiveness of their attack coordination.
BALTOPS is an annual joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise scheduled for June 1-15, 2018. It is designed to improve training value for participants enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. The exercise will involve maritime, ground, and air forces so as to strengthen combined response capabilities necessary to ensure regional stability.
Participating nations in BALTOPS include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
A total of 43 maritime units, more than 60 aircraft and a combined amphibious landing force are scheduled to participate in BALTOPS 2018.