Evidence of mine field discovered during Baltic Operations 2009 exercise

USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Baltic Sea — A Swedish Navy ship operating in the Baltic Sea June 10 discovered evidence of a mine line while participating in Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise 2009.

HSwMS Faaroesund (MUL 20) discovered an object while deploying its autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for a tactical evaluation of the sea floor as part of BALTOPS. This discovery could indicate the presence of underwater mines left over from both World Wars I and II in the vicinity.

The Swedish officer responsible for planning the evolution, Lt. Cmdr. Jorgen Bergman, said that the objects like this one, found southeast of the Swedish island Oland, were placed by the Nazis throughout the Baltic Sea during WWII. They were intended to obscure the location of mines from Allied Forces. "We are really exited about this opportunity to take what was a theoretical exercise and make it a real world operation," said Bergman who is assigned to the BALTOPS staff on board USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20). "If the presence of mines is confirmed, the Swedish Navy will start removing them to remove the threat to the area. By being able to recognize the object, the Swedish Navy now has a frame of reference for locating more," added Bergman. The AUV Sapphires, the Swedish torpedo converted for underwater surveying, detected the object with its Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS). SAS is a sophisticated system that generates a higher resolution than standard types of sonar.

It's estimated that over 100,000 mines were laid throughout both World Wars ranging from Sweden to Lithuania with approximately 60,000 remaining undiscovered. The presence of the mines creates problems in shipping lanes and underwater development in the Baltic Sea.

BALTOPS is comprised of forces from 12 countries and is the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea. Annually hosted by the United States Navy, the exercise aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.

Find more articles tagged with:

Comments: 0

Your comment:

Related Topics

VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Republic of Georgia-In front of a color detail with the national colors of America and the Republic of Georgia and the unit colors of the U.S. Marine Corps and Georgian military, Maj. Eric J. Andersen, executive officer Black Sea Rotational Force 11 and Kent, Wash., native,  â?forms the troops for the opening ceremony of Exercise Agile Spirit 2011, marking the official start of what is scheduled to be an annual training event with the partner nation. Marines with Alpha Company of Anti-Terrorism Battalion, and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion deployed to Georgia for their annual training to supplement the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployment of BSRF-11, to conduct counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations training at Vaziani Training Area. , Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda

International Cooperation

CAIRO, EGYPT (March 15, 2011) -- Egyptian families emerge from an Air Force C-130J after their flight from Djerba Zarzis Airport in Tunisia. These Egyptian citizens are among tens of thousands who have fled conflict in Libya to Tunisia, where a humanitarian
crisis is unfolding. This C-130J, flown by the 37th Airlift Squadron from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is part of a contingent of aircraft from the 37th AS and the 26th U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit that are transporting the evacuees home. The airlift is part of a broader U.S. government effort led by the Department of State to assist with the crisis. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens/Released)

Helping People

Flag of Sweden

Sweden

History of EUCOM

J3 - European Command Plans and Operations Center (EPOC)

History Office

Offices of Defense Cooperation

AUGUSTA BAY, Sicily (March 16, 2011) - USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20), the U.S. Sixth Fleet flag ship homeported out of Gaeta, Italy, and USS Ponce (LPD 15), an amphibious transport dock ship homeported out of Norfolk, Va., take on supplies while inport Augusta Bay, Sicily. Both ships are operating in the Mediterranean Sea as part of a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Keen/Released)

U.S. Naval Forces Europe

Related Articles

U