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:
- mine sweeping
- World War II
- sea mines
- Baltic Operations
- maritime security
- Baltic Sea
Slovenian-born General Frank Gorenc, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, visited Slovenia Nov. 8 and 9, 2013, to meet Defence Minister Roman Jakič, Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier Dobran Božič, and President Borut Pahor. The general also visited the barracks and airbase in Cerklje ob Krki and be presented the capabilities of the Slovenian air force, according to the Defence Ministry.
It makes fiscal and strategic sense for the United States to continue to base troops in Europe, the officer who serves as NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command said today.
Top U.S., Romanian and NATO officials broke ground Monday on a new ballistic missile defense facility being built to boost regional stability and strengthen the alliance's collective security stance.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Sweden’s Minister of Defense Karin Enström at the Pentagon today, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Speak Up is a modern English language school that uses a state-of-the-art teaching methods aimed at satisfying each student’s needs and objectives.
HENRI CHAPELLE, Belgium – Hundreds of people gathered May 25 at Henri Chapelle American Cemetery, where amid the rolling hills of Belgium’s countryside is the final resting place of 7,992 U.S. troops who died in World War II.
US Ambassador Stephen Mull spoke to the Polish Naval Academy on why Poland needs a strong navy.
Representatives from 10 nations met to plan the 41st Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) at the naval base in Kiel, Germany, Apr. 9-11. BALTOPS 13, annually hosted by the United States Navy, aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.
After two action-packed weeks, the 40th Anniversary of the Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) has come an end. The longest partnership-in-training between two nations, NOREX has been, and continues to be, a shining example of the positive reciprocity that can exist between allied militaries.
USS Kearsarge had eight sailors from the Italian Marina Militare set sail with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group