The EML Ugandi (M315), a minehunter of the Estonian Navy, will participate in the maritime military exercise Baltic Fortress in Lithuania this week, where the focus will be on practicing the protection of seaways leading to the Port of Klaipėda.
“The navies of the three Baltic countries at the exercise will jointly practice fulfilling tasks of strategic importance at the exercise,” Cmdr. Peeter Ivask, commander of the Estonian Navy, was quoted by spokespeople for the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) as saying. “This is likewise a practical exercise for students of the joint naval command studies course of the Baltic navies.”
According to the exercise scenario, approximately 400 members of the Baltics’ respective defense forces must enable the transport of strategic resources by sea to the Port of Klaipėda. During the week, the exercise will include keeping seaways surrounding the port open in an unexpected dangerous environment as well as port defense procedures, the checking of anchorage areas as well as mine clearance. In addition, students of the staff officer course of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Navies will also rehearse planning and leading mine clearance operations and the application of NATO-wide procedures.
Participants of the exercise include Lithuanian mine countermeasures pouncers, minehunters LNS Skalvis (M53) and LNS Suduvis (M52), command vessel LNS Jotvingis and members of the Lithuanian Air Force on Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainers. Estonia is contributing with staff officers and marines serving aboard the minehunter EML Ugandi (M315). Minehunter LVNS Talivaldis (M06) from Latvia will likewise participate in the exercise.
Baltic Fortress is a maritime military exercise that is organized each year by one of the Baltic navies. Last year, the exercise was held in Hara Bay, Northern Estonia; next year’s exercise will be held in Latvia.