The U.S. 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrived in Gaeta, Italy July 15, after completing Baltic Operations 2014 (BALTOPS) with its European counterparts.
BALTOPS is an annual, multinational exercise designed to enhance maritime capabilities, interoperability and support regional stability. This year’s BALTOPS, the 42nd iteration of the exercise, saw the participation of naval forces from 14 countries including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The training objectives of the exercise included gunnery, replenishment-at-sea, anti-submarine warfare, radar tracking and interception, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and scenarios dealing with potential real world crises and maritime security.
Mount Whitney’s crew dedicated a significant amount of their time building stronger relationships with regional partners and allied nations with port visits to Sweden, Germany, and Belgium, ensuring the advancement, security and stability in Europe.
Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, operates with a combined crew of U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. The civil service mariners perform navigation, deck, engineering and supply service operations, while military personnel support communications, weapons systems and security. It is one of only two seaborne joint command platforms in the U.S. Navy, both of which are forward deployed.