Russia: Large Landing Ship Minsk Sails off BF Main Naval Base Balistyk
Large landing ship Minsk sailed off Baltic Fleet (BF) main naval base Baltiysk on June 1 under the flag of BF Landing Ship Division executive officer Capt 2 rank Igor Smirnov to participate in the BALTOPS-2011 joint naval exercise.
The farewell ceremony was attended by BF Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sergei Farkov, representatives of Baltiysk city administration, and families of the crew. In their speeches they wished the crew success in the exercise and expressed hope that BF mariners would worthily represent the St. Andrew’s flag at the international maneuvers.
According to the cruise commander Capt 2 rank Igor Smirnov, the exercise will consist of three phases in June 3-20; the ship will practice joint activities within the task force to be formed in the Baltic Fleet.
It should be noted that it is going to be 39th BALTOPS exercise and 18th with Russian Baltic Fleet attended.
Apart from Russian mariners, naval servicemen of 13 countries will participate in the BALTOPS international exercise – the US, France, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Estonia. In addition, for the first time British and Finnish warships as well as Georgian search team will attend the exercise. Totally, over 20 surface ships, 14 aircrafts and 8 helicopters will be involved.
Pre-cruise conference and commanding officers briefing will take place in German port Kiel in June 3-5.
During sea phase the ships will perform gun firing drills at air and sea targets, practice joint maneuvering, rendering assistance to distressed ships, and life-saving at sea. Besides, the participants will search and “destroy” a submarine, inspect a suspect vessel, and conduct joint anti-terror drills.
Upon termination of the active phase, the exercise results will be summarized in the Kiel port (Germany); then the ships are to take part in traditional Kiel Week festival.
Source: rusnavy, June 3, 2011;