Mine countermeasure ships and personnel from 15 navies gathered in Tallinn, Estonia, for the start of the international Baltic Sea ordnance disposal drill Open Spirit.
The exercise kicks off Friday and is joined by ships from NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) among others.
Open Spirit will take place Estonian waters ranging from Tallinn to the Sõrve peninsula and is scheduled to conclude on May 25.
SNMCMG1 ships arrived in Tallinn after concluding their participation in the Royal Navy-led exercise Joint Warrior and wrapping up a visit to Aberdeen, Scotland.
Standing .@NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (#SNMCMG1) arrived in Tallinn to replenish supplies and prepare for the upcoming mine countermeasures exercise #OpenSpirit 2018, organized by the 🇪🇪 Navy from May 11 to May 25 #WeAreNATO
📸 by @Kaitsevagi
— Logistics Staff Officer (@cezarysta) May 10, 2018
Entering Tallinn in splendid weather together with fellow mine counter measures vessels in Open Spirit 2018. pic.twitter.com/MTjX4yCLS3
— HMS Koster (@HMS_Koster) May 11, 2018
Open Spirit is organized by the navies of the Baltic States and takes place once a year on a rotating basis in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. The exercise aims to reduce the threat of unexploded ordnance throughout the Baltic Sea region, including seabed communications lines, international shipping routes, and fishing areas.
Open Spirit 2017 was hosted by Latvia.