German dive support ship heads for mine clearance maneuver off Lithuania

Open Spirit 2016

German Navy’s diver support ship FGS Rottweil (M 1061) set sail for Klaipeda, Lithuania on May 12.

The vessel and its crew will join minesweepers from different nation to take part in NATO’s ‘Open Spirit’ maneuver.

Open Spirit arose from from the exercises of the joint mine countermeasures squadron of the Baltic states, the Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON), which was made up of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

It is the longest-standing military exercise taking place in the Baltic Sea since the end of the Cold War and has been part of NATO since the 1990s.

Apart from naval mine clearance and ordnance disposal, Open Spirit provides an opportunity for international units to train and work together.

Apart from Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Netherlands, navies of Canada, Norway, Poland, France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, U.S., Great Britain and Germany will be taking part in the exercise.

Last year’s Open Spirit was hosted by the Estonian Navy and took place from May 18 – 29.

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