USS MOUNT WHITNEY, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) hosted several international weather forecasters in support of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) Exercise 2009.
Swedish Armed Forces Maj. Ebba Martensson, along with a team of two additional meteorologists and oceanographers from the Swedish Armed Forces, provide weather forecasts for U.S. and partner nations participating in BALTOPS.
"It used to be that each ship would receive weather reports from the weather centers in their countries," said Martensson. "We are on this exercise to establish a process where all the ships in BALTOPS are receiving the same report."
By ensuring that every ship is working on the same weather table, U.S. and partner nations can organize and plan operations with greater efficiency. BALTOPS forecasters are working together to give accurate daily reports to every ship and unit involved in the exercise.
"We use satellite pictures and radar images against atmospheric and oceanic models to forecast the weather," said Martensson. "After we feel the forecast is accurate, we send the reports to every ship in the exercise as well as give briefs to aircraft pilots and the upper chain of command daily."
Martensson will be able to apply the lessons learned during the exercise long after BALTOPS concludes. In her off-time she serves as the weather forecaster for two national channels, the Swedish equivalents of America's Public Broadcasting Service.
BALTOPS is comprised of forces from 12 countries and is the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea. The exercise aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe -U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.