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Exercise BALTOPS 2023 Underway

[© NATO Multimedia]

Nineteen NATO Allies and Sweden are underway in the Baltic Sea for exercise BALTOPS, which is in its 52nd iteration this year.

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Twenty nations, 50 ships, more than 45 aircraft and 6,000 personnel are participating in Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2023, an annual maritime exercise.

Held annually in the Baltic Sea, this year’s iteration started on 4 June and will continue until 16 June, giving NATO Allies and partners a chance to practise large-scale maritime and amphibious operations. Led by the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet, the exercise is controlled by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), NATO’s maritime operational staff. While Finland has participated in previous iterations of the exercise, this year marks the first time the country participates as a NATO member country.

[© NATO Multimedia]

With more than 50 years of history, BALTOPS is one of the longest-running exercises held by NATO Allies. This NATO Multimedia footage, captured 04 June and released yesterday, was filmed on board the US Navy command and control ship USS Mount Whitney and German Navy frigate FGS Bayern. The footage includes various shots of sailors participating in the exercise, a US Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter conducting airborne operations, formation of ships sailing together, and Soundbites from US and German officers.

Shot list:-

  • 00:00 ~ USS Paul Ignatius docked at Tallinn port
  • 00:05 ~ Polish Navy ORP Generał Tadeusz Kościuszko leaving the dock from Tallinn
  • 00:09 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter on the deck of USS Mount Whitney
  • 00:14 ~ USS Mount Whitney leaving the port of Tallinn
  • 00:36 ~ US Navy crew members prepare for flight
  • 01:01 ~ US Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter prepares to take off
  • 01:04 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter airborne
  • 01:16 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter conducts simulated search and rescue mission
  • 01:57 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter conducts fly-over over USS Mount Whitney
  • 02:29 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter gets refuelled
  • 02:35 ~ MH-60 Seahawk on the deck of USS Mount Whitney with USS Paul Ignatius passing by in the background
  • 02:40 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter prepares to take off
  • 02:55 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter takes off
  • 03:13 ~ Ships from NATO allies and Sweden sail together in close formation
  • 03:51 ~ US sailors discuss tactics and conduct operations on the bridge
  • 04:29 ~ MH-60 Seahawk helicopter airlifting cargo to German Navy FGS Bayern
  • 04:49 ~ German Navy FGS Bayern’s radar system
  • 04:59 ~ German sailors conduct operations on the bridge
  • 05:30 ~ Firing drills of the bk-27 rapid-fire cannon from the FGS Bayern
  • 05:36 ~ German Navy FGS Bayern with a sunset view
  • 05:39 ~ US Marines prepare to conduct amphibious operations from FGS Bayern
  • 05:53 ~ German sailors take part in drills
  • 06:02 ~ German sailors discuss tactics and conduct operations on the bridge
  • 06:23 ~ German sailors conduct operations on the bridge with their combat gear
  • 06:28 ~ German sailors conduct operations on the bridge
  • 06:34 ~ German sailors and us marine discuss tactics and conduct operations on the bridge
  • 06:39 ~ Firing drills with Oto Melara 76mm naval gun from FGS Bayern
  • 06:44 ~ German sailors conduct operations on the bridge
  • 06:53 ~ Soundbite – Captain Matthew Kiser – Commanding Officer, USS Mount Whitney.
  • 07:25 ~ Soundbite (German) – Commander Dennis Fauerbach – Commanding Officer, FGS Bayern, German Navy: “What is really important about this exercise in this special area is of course, like all other NATO exercises. It’s proving ourselves that we are still able to interoperate, to cooperate and if required to fight together, strong together. And doing this exercise in this special region, it’s a very positive statement towards the security in this region.”
  • 07:53 ~ Soundbite (German) – Commander Dennis Fauerbach: The frigate Bayern is taking part in BALTOPS this year, a NATO drill that has always been supported by the German Navy. Bordering the Baltic Sea, Germany has a clear interest in a safe and peaceful region. One of the priorities for the Bayern during this exercise is to strengthen the relations with US Marines, which are currently deployed on the Bayern for the duration of the exercise. As part of the exercise, the Marines will be taken ashore by us to act as spotters to direct naval gunfire support.”
  • 08:35 ~ Soundbite (German) – Commander Dennis Fauerbach: “BALTOPS and the scenario that is being exercised is an important element to improve the interoperability within NATO, and to test how quickly we can come together, cooperate together and, if we need to, fight together.”
  • 09:02 ~ Soundbite – Captain Julian Gaeta, Platoon Commander, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, US Marines.
  • 09:36 ~ Soundbite – Captain Julian Gaeta.

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