Baltops Exercise Enters Its Final Phase. International Landing Operation in Ustka
BALTOPS 2016 exercise has reached its third and last phase, focusing on the Baltic Sea basin. Within the framework of that stage of the training activities, a landing operation of joint forces is planned to happen in Ustka. The exercise involves more than 6 thousand soldiers hailing from 17 NATO member states and partner nations.
The third stage constitutes a continuation of the training realized within the harbour and on the waters of the Baltic Sea, and it may be seen as a culmination of the operations realized within the first phase (enhancement of the combat capacities) and the second phase (integration of the forces through execution of operations against asymmetrical threats and international naval and air assets). It is expected that a joint landing operation would be carried out in Ustka, with participation of the Marines hailing from Germany, Italy, USA and the UK. 7th Coastal Defence Brigade is going to act as the adversary.
According to the release issued by the Polish General Command of the Armed Forces, USS Mount Whitney command ship, USS Carter Hall dock landing ship, British HMS Ocean amphibious assault ship, Dutch HNMLS Johan de Witt landing ship, and Spanish SPS Nuez Mendes missile destroyer are going to be the largest vessels that are expected to take part in the landing operation. NATO amphibious component is going to be supported by the Danish Abslalon-class support ship, Swedish Karlstad stealth missile Corvette and by several German missile boats. During the initial phase of the operation, five Polish mine-hunters will look for mines within the approach area, where the landing operation is going to take place.
The aircraft to be involved include the AWACS platform, which is going to be supported by the Polish F-16 fighter jets. Moreover, the operation will also see participation of the US F-16s, Swedish Gripens, a US CV-22 Osprey, and of a German P-3 Orion patrol aircraft. Furthermore, it is expected that AH-64 Apache and MH-60 helicopters from the United States, as well as British Merlins and Chinooks, Dutch Cougar, along with a US B-52 strategic bomber will also get involved in the activities.