Tag Archives: Baltic Sea

From Russian Presence to Sailboat Traffic, U.S. Learning What's 'Normal' Far From Home

From Russian Presence to Sailboat Traffic, U.S. Learning What’s ‘Normal’ Far From Home

Russian Steregushchiy-class corvette Boikiy (532) approaches Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107) in the Baltic Sea during the BALTOPS 2019 exercise. Exercise and regional leaders have said that all recent interactions with the Russian Navy had been safe and professional. USNI News photo.

ABOARD USS GRAVELY, IN THE BALTIC SEA – “Away, SNOOPIE team, away. Surface contact on port side.” Read More

U.S. Leading NATO Maritime Group Amid Renewed Focus on Northern Europe

U.S. Leading NATO Maritime Group Amid Renewed Focus on Northern Europe

Standing NATO Maritime Group One flagship USS Gravely (DDG 107) leads 11 naval ships from nine nations in close formation during a Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019 exercise on June 16, 2019. US Navy photo.

ABOARD USS GRAVELY, IN THE BALTIC SEA — The U.S. Navy is leading a decades-old NATO maritime group, serving as a first-responder force in northern European waters and building interoperability among NATO allies while also re-learning lessons for the U.S. Navy about operating in that region. Read More

BALTOPS 2019 Focuses on Operationally Relevant, High-End Skills Due to Changing Security Environment

BALTOPS 2019 Focuses on Operationally Relevant, High-End Skills Due to Changing Security Environment

Spanish navy combat rubber raiding crafts (CRRC) approach the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) as part of exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019, on June 18, 2019. US Navy photo.

ABOARD USS MOUNT WHITNEY, IN THE BALTIC SEA – As this year’s BALTOPS exercise shaped up to be the largest in years, exercise planners also sought to make the annual event more focused on high-end warfighting than previous iterations, BALTOPS leadership told USNI News. Read More

U.S., NATO Want Expanded BALTOPS Exercise to Show Commitment to European Security

U.S., NATO Want Expanded BALTOPS Exercise to Show Commitment to European Security

A Spanish amphibious assault vehicle brought Spanish ground forces ashore during an amphibious demonstration at Palanga, Lithuania, during BALTOPS 2019. USNI News photo.

PALANGA, LITHUANIA – Spanish amphibious assault vehicles swam ashore from an American amphibious dock landing ship, with ground forces filing out with their machine guns and taking a position on the beach. Romanian ground forces spilled out of a Polish PTS tracked vehicle, shortly before seven landing craft from three nations slid up onto the beach in perfect symmetry. British forces fast-roped down out of an AW101 Merlin helicopter at the same time Spanish troops did the same from their AH-3 Sea King helo.

As the U.S. Navy and its NATO allies showed off the various ways they could take a beach from the sea, they were also showing a deeper commitment to collective security in the Baltic Sea and in Europe in general. Read More

Foggo: U.S., NATO Naval Forces Pushing Back Against Russian Harassment

Foggo: U.S., NATO Naval Forces Pushing Back Against Russian Harassment

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71), right, approaches the Lewis and Clark-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) for a replenishment-at-sea in the Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 6, 2018. Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its seventh patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests Europe and Africa. US Navy photo.

THE PENTAGON – U.S. and NATO ships are focused on conducting freedom of navigation operations in Europe to push back against a Russia that is increasingly harassing commercial shipping and introducing new anti-access weapons into the theater, according to the head of U.S. naval forces in Europe. Read More

BALTOPS 2018 Continues Emphasis on Air-Sea Integration, Complex Free-Play Phase

BALTOPS 2018 Continues Emphasis on Air-Sea Integration, Complex Free-Play Phase

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler Pokego, Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, charges up a beach dune during a simulated amphibious assault as part of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2018 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. US Navy photo

This post has been updated to include additional information from the Navy.

THE PENTAGON — The annual Baltic Operations exercise is underway for the 46th time, continuing last year’s priorities of increasing the integration of aircraft and ships and boosting the difficulty of the free-play phase that concludes the exercise. Read More

European Navies Are Grappling with Aggressive Russian, Chinese Operations in Baltic, Mediterranean

European Navies Are Grappling with Aggressive Russian, Chinese Operations in Baltic, Mediterranean

Chinese destroyer near Vladivostok, Russia during Joint Sea 2017. Russian state media photo

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The optimism for peace at the end of the Cold War has proven to be a mistake as Russia used the lull in Western defense attention to occupy Crimea and aggressively support separatists in Ukraine and insert itself in the Syrian civil war, three chiefs of European navies agreed on Monday. Read More

NATO and U.S. Baltic Sea Exercises Highlight Ongoing Tensions with Russian Forces

NATO and U.S. Baltic Sea Exercises Highlight Ongoing Tensions with Russian Forces

Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Steven Montgomery, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, directs an amphibious assault vehicle during exercise BALTOPS 17 in Putlos, Germany. US Navy Photo

ABOARD AMPHIBIOUS WARSHIP USS ARLINGTON — BALTOPS 2017, now in its 45th year as an annual naval exercise, took place during the first two weeks of June in a Baltic Sea region that continues to be tense with Russia’s continued assertiveness, which became apparent with the violent annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Read More