Instead of NOCO, German Navy started exercise GEREX 2020 in Baltic Sea
The German Navy is conducting German Exercise 2020 (GEREX) in the western Baltic Sea from 31 August to 7 September.
The main actors in GEREX are the minehunter Homburg (M1069), the replenishment ship Werra (A514), the submarine U-33 (S183), a boarding team of the sea battalion, a P-3C Orion and two helicopters Sea King and Sea Lynx.
Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223), a recently commissioned F125 Baden-Württemberg-class frigate, and the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1) will also join the exercise. In addition, the Estonian Navy’s Sandown-class minehunter Ugandi (M315) will join the maneuver.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the multilateral exercise Northern Coasts (NOCO) had to be cancelled this year.
Held each year in the Baltic Sea and in the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, the exercise NOCO promotes anti-submarine warfare, explosive ordnance disposal and mine countermeasures interoperability between participating forces.
Because of the cancellation of NOCO, the Inspector of the Navy, Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, decided to carry out a predominantly national naval exercise aimed at strengthening the operational readiness of the crews.
GEREX includes individual training as well as tactical exercises that take place across all ship types. Overall, ships and boats from both brigade-level units and naval aircraft are taking part.
The Baltic Sea is a particularly demanding area of operations due to its geography with many straits and islands as well as shallow water depths. Here, every single marine has to master his craft in detail. The sea routes there are said to be of great importance for the navy and its partners.