BALTIC SEA (NNS) -- An MH-60S Sea Hawk from the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), an AW159 Wildcat from the Duke-class Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth (F235) and two Mk41 Sea Kings from the Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Frankfurt A.M. (A1412) simulated a recuse of four stranded individuals during BALTOPS 2018's first joint personnel recovery exercise.
Approximately, 400 U.S. and Romanian Marines conducted an amphibious landing from the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and the Lublin-class minelayer-landing ship ORP Krakow (823). Once ashore the Marines preformed combined tactical drills with Polish forces at the Ustka Range Complex in Ustka, Poland.
The Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Iver Huitfeldt (F361), Duke-class Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth (F235), and Polish F- 16 Fighting Falcons defended the Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Frankfurt A.M. (A1412) in an air defense exercise against Polish Su-22M4 fighters.
Eighteen mine countermeasure ships and nine explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) teams continue to locate simulated munitions in the vicinity of Ustka, Poland, Klaipeda Lithuania and Bornholm Island, Denmark.
The Sdermanland-class submarine HSwMS Sdermanland conducted live-fire exercises off the coast of the Ravlunda, Sweden firing range. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) also fired their 5-inch/54 caliber Mark 45 gun during the live-fire exercise.
The nine ships attached to the Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON) and Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 partook in helicopter control and vertical replenishment exercises.
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.