Belgian minehunter joins Baltic Fortress drill off Estonia

Navy ships from BALTRON states – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – kicked off the international maritime exercise Baltic Fortress 17 on May 19 in Estonian territorial waters.

Joining the Baltic nations navies were sailors from the Belgian Navy’s minehunter BNS Primula who arrived to Estonia last week.

The annual maritime exercise is aimed at providing opportunity for students of the international Baltic Naval Intermediate Command and Staff Course (NICSC) to carry out real-life exercise planning and train staff procedures during various staff-level exercises and real-life manoeuvres at sea while operating in a multinational environment and using operational English terminology.

Lithuanian Navy ships attending the drill include mine countermeasures vessel Kuršis (M54), minelayer Jotvingis (N42), and patrol vessels Dzūkas (P12) and Aukštaitis (P14).

Supply ship LVNS Varonis (A90) is representing the Latvian Navy while the minesweepers Admiral Cowan and Sakala are representing the Estonian Navy.

Baltic Fortress is an annual exercise that started in 2008. The host of the next year’s edition of the drill will be Lithuania.

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