GDYNIA, Poland (NNS) -- Sailors from around the world and throughout the Baltic region will arrive in Gdynia, June 9, to kick off the 36th annual maritime exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2008.
BALTOPS 2008 is an individual combined maritime and land exercise in the Baltic Sea, conducted in the spirit of "Partnership For Peace" (PFP). The operation includes NATO and non-NATO participants. The mission of BALTOPS 2008 is to promote mutual understanding, confidence, cooperation, and interoperability among forces and personnel of participating nations and support national unit and staff training objectives through a series of robust exercises.
Thirteen nations will participate in this year's exercise, including ships, submarines, aircraft, and ground force elements from NATO and PFP nations, including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
BALTOPS 2008 is intended to improve interoperability with NATO and PFP nations by conducting peace support operations at sea, including gunnery exercises, replenishment-at-sea, undersea warfare, radar tracking, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and scenarios dealing with potential real world crises and maritime security.
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, based in Norfolk, will supervise the exercise from the flagship USS Gettysburg (CG 64). Other U.S. Navy units participating include USS Cole (DDG 67), and USNS Patuxent (TAO 201).
"We are a planet of oceans and exercises like BALTOPS build partnerships and strengthen alliances with navies from around the world," said Holloway. "Fostering relationships with our allies enhances global security and prepares us for potential crisis."
Carrier Strike Group 12 returned from their six month deployment to the Persian Gulf in December, and recently presided over Port Everglades Fleet Week in May.
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