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BALTOPS 2019 Focuses on Partnership, Presence, Professionals

Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, takes place in the Baltic Sea June 9-21. Ground, maritime, and air forces from participating nations will work together to exercise air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-subsurface warfare, mine countermeasures, and amphibious operations in order to strengthen the development of our joint leaders and teams across all layers of the battlespace.

BALTOPS 2019, scheduled to include air, maritime, and ground assets from 18 nations, is an annual exercise. It provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. Designed to improve training value for participants to enhance flexibility and interoperability, BALTOPS gives allied and partner forces a chance to demonstrate resolve in defending the Baltic Sea region.

“U.S. 2nd Fleet will be leading the exercise, but make no mistake, it will be founded on NATO and partner principles,” said Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, commander, U. S. 2nd Fleet. “Through BALTOPS 2019 and exercises like it, we strengthen our relationships and improve overall coordination and interoperability between allies and partners during both peace and times of conflict.”

 

BALTOPS 2019 will start June 9 with ship tours and an opening media event in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Follow this blog for stories, videos and images.

U.S. 2nd Fleet Declares Initial Operational Capability (29 May 2019)

U.S. 2nd Fleet to Lead BALTOPS 2019 (2 April 2019)

BALTOPS 2019 Planning Conference Commences in Poland (8 Dec. 2019)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/06/03/baltops-2019-focuses-on-partnership-presence-professionals/ U.S. Navy

BALTOPS 2019 Focuses on Partnership, Presence, Professionals

Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, takes place in the Baltic Sea June 9-21. Ground, maritime, and air forces from participating nations will work together to exercise air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-subsurface warfare, mine countermeasures, and amphibious operations in order to strengthen the development of our joint leaders and teams across all layers of the battlespace.

BALTOPS 2019, scheduled to include air, maritime, and ground assets from 18 nations, is an annual exercise. It provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. Designed to improve training value for participants to enhance flexibility and interoperability, BALTOPS gives allied and partner forces a chance to demonstrate resolve in defending the Baltic Sea region.

“U.S. 2nd Fleet will be leading the exercise, but make no mistake, it will be founded on NATO and partner principles,” said Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, commander, U. S. 2nd Fleet. “Through BALTOPS 2019 and exercises like it, we strengthen our relationships and improve overall coordination and interoperability between allies and partners during both peace and times of conflict.”

 

BALTOPS 2019 will start June 9 with ship tours and an opening media event in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Follow this blog for stories, videos and images.

U.S. 2nd Fleet Declares Initial Operational Capability (29 May 2019)

U.S. 2nd Fleet to Lead BALTOPS 2019 (2 April 2019)

BALTOPS 2019 Planning Conference Commences in Poland (8 Dec. 2019)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/06/03/baltops-2019-focuses-on-partnership-presence-professionals/ U.S. Navy

Transatlantic Brücke: Bright Future Leaders for the Bundeswehr and NATO

By Adm. James G. Foggo III
Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa

“How do we engage in dialogue and deter and defend?” asked the 18-year old German midshipman. This question was asked of me during the week of August 13th, when I was invited to speak with students at the Leadership Academy in Hamburg, Führungsakademie, and midshipmen at the Naval Academy in Flensburg, Marineschule Mürwik. I was impressed by both groups – these leaders are some of the best and brightest, and I know the armed forces of the alliance will be in good hands

There is an immense tradition of military academic thought in Germany, just think of Carl von Clauswitz and Otto von Bismarck. The Bundeswehr has boldly embraced history and looks to the future. As I stood in front of the impressionable young midshipmen in Murwik, these words were on the wall behind me – Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit: Unity and Justice and Freedom. This is the opening line from the German national anthem. Our transatlantic alliance works to create this vision every day-a Europe whole, free and at peace. The midshipmen, and all members of the German Armed Forces, embrace the concept of Citizen Soldier, Innere Führung. Being a citizen comes first.

FLENSBURG, Germany (Aug. 17, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, delivers remarks to midshipmen at the German Naval Academy in Flensburg, Germany, Aug. 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)
FLENSBURG, Germany (Aug. 17, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, delivers remarks to midshipmen at the German Naval Academy in Flensburg, Germany, Aug. 17, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)

 

This is the power of our defensive alliance. The armed forces of our 29 allied nations train, man and equip to protect our populations. We work to protect the citizens of our homelands and the homelands of our allied sisters and brothers. This demands ethical and professional service as well as competent and compassionate leadership.

On the trip to Germany, I also made a visit to Berlin where I was delighted to meet U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell and Chief of Defense General Eberhard Zorn. It was particularly inspiring to meet with friends and key Allies next to the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall. Later that afternoon, Vice Adm. Rainer Brinkmann, Vice Adm. Hubertus von Puttkamer, Lt. Gen. Dieter Warneke, and I discussed the past, present and future. I must admit, I was envious of admirals Brinkmann and von Puttkamer’s early command experience on “Schnellboot” prying the waters of the Baltic Sea. We agreed that we can all do well to study the lessons of history to chart our way forward as a credible, defensive alliance. In particular, The Rules of the Game by Andrew Gordon discusses lessons learned during the battle of Jutland. We can learn from the approaches to tactics, strategy, and readiness even though this epic battleship battle occurred over a century ago.

BERLIN (Aug. 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, right, and retired German Adm. Hubertus von Puttkamer pose for a photo during a visit to Berlin. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)
BERLIN (Aug. 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, right, and retired German Adm. Hubertus von Puttkamer pose for a photo during a visit to Berlin. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)

 

As Sixth Fleet commander I wrote “Our Wake is the Fleet’s Path” during BALTOPS 2016. NATO had to face the real challenge of Mines in Misrata, Libya during Operation Unified Protector. As operations officer (J3) for the Joint Task Force, I had the very real challenge of neutralizing mines. Minesweeping is a cornerstone capability of NATO maritime forces: keeping the sea lines of communication open. In this key capability, German Navy contributes significantly to the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups (SNMCMG). The alliance depends on keeping the seas open for commerce for all nations.

POTSDAM, Germany (Aug. 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, left, and German Army Lt. Gen. Erich Pfeffer, commander, Joint Forces Operations Command, tour the Grove of Remembrance in Potsdam, Germany, (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)
POTSDAM, Germany (Aug. 16, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, left, and German Army Lt. Gen. Erich Pfeffer, commander, Joint Forces Operations Command, tour the Grove of Remembrance in Potsdam, Germany, (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)

 

Lt. Gen. Erich Pfeffer walked with me through the harrowing Grove of Remembrance outside his Joint Forces Operations Command in Potsdam. This serene site memorializes the service and sacrifice of German Armed Forces in theaters of deployment, including Afghanistan and the Balkans. Since 1955, more than 3,200 civilian and military members of the Bundeswehr lost their lives in the course of their service to their country. Many of these missions were under the NATO flag.

HAMBURG, Germany (Aug. 17, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, poses for a photo with a German Navy Sea King Helicopter Crew, in Hamburg, Germany. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)
HAMBURG, Germany (Aug. 17, 2018) Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Itlay, poses for a photo with a German Navy Sea King Helicopter Crew, in Hamburg, Germany. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William Eucker/Released)

 

Overall, the trip to Germany was an inspiring one. I told the midshipmen that I may see some of them during Exercise Trident Juncture, where the Bundeswehr will deploy over 8000 soldiers, sailors and airmen to Norway with over 240 tracked vehicles and 13 transport ships. This is our message to all audiences: We are Stronger Together. #WeAreNATO Wir. Dienen. NATO.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/08/21/transatlantic-brucke-bright-future-leaders-for-the-bundeswehr-and-nato/ U.S. Navy

Faslane Fit to Fight: Great visit on the Clyde!

By Adm. James G. Foggo III
Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa

This past week, I had the honor of spending time with one of our country’s top maritime allies, the Royal Navy. Our relationship with the United Kingdom and specifically the Royal Navy is built on our mutual commitment to maintaining sea control and protecting freedom of navigation for all countries. And once again, our alliance is called upon to enforce these internationally held beliefs as Russian seeks to threaten stability and maritime security in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland. Clyde is essentially the home of the U.K.’s ballistic submarine fleet and thereby has served a critical role in our strategic deterrence mission during the Cold War and beyond. Faslane, with its strategic location that includes easy access to the North Atlantic, has been supporting U.S. Navy submarine forces, as well as our surface fleet, for many decades.

Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, left, shakes hands with Royal Navy Rear Adm. John Weale, Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines and Rear Admiral Submarines, during a visit to Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, Aug. 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of the Royal Navy/Released)
Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, left, shakes hands with Royal Navy Rear Adm. John Weale, Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines and Rear Admiral Submarines, during a visit to Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, Aug. 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of the Royal Navy/Released)

 

As a submariner, it was a thrill to return and see our partner’s impressive submarine fleet. I had the opportunity to meet with various leaders, including my good friend Royal Navy Rear Adm. John Weale, who serves as Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines and Rear Admiral Submarines.  I had the chance to tour both ballistic and attack Royal Navy submarines and came away impressed not only with the UK’s submarine capabilities, but also with the dedication and skillset of Royal Navy sailors.

FASLANE, Scotland (Oct. 1, 2017) Sailors raise the brow of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) as the ship departs Faslane, Scotland, during exercise Formidable Shield (FS) 2017. FS-17 is a U.S. 6th Fleet-led, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO-conducted exercise designed to improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense environment using NATO command and control reporting structures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amy M. Ressler/Released)
FASLANE, Scotland (Oct. 1, 2017) Sailors raise the brow of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) as the ship departs Faslane, Scotland, during exercise Formidable Shield (FS) 2017. FS-17 is a U.S. 6th Fleet-led, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO-conducted exercise designed to improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense environment using NATO command and control reporting structures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amy M. Ressler/Released)

 

The U.K. has provided critical support to our Navy and our NATO allies during operations and exercises that have strengthened our partnership, enhanced our interoperability and maintained the freedom of the seas. As I already mentioned, Faslane’s secluded yet strategically located base allows easy access to the North Atlantic making it a critical base for supporting anti-submarine warfare in the area. This enables U.S. aircraft, surface ships, and submarines to work in concert with our Allies and partners to maintain a common defense against increased Russian submarine activity.

Notably, Faslane has supported a number of U.S. Navy warships in recent years. Since July 2017, 13 warships and numerous submarines have visited Faslane. More importantly, Naval Base Clyde is also close to the Hebrides Range, which allows it to support various high-end warfare exercises.  Building on past exercises – UK-lead Joint Warfare and the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum-led At Sea Demonstration 15 – we took Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO exercise Formidable Shield (FS) 2017 to new heights… literally and figuratively!

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 15, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) fires a standard missile 3 during exercise Formidable Shield 2017. Formidable Shield is a U.S. 6th Fleet led, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO-conducted exercise which will improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 15, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) fires a standard missile 3 during exercise Formidable Shield 2017. Formidable Shield is a U.S. 6th Fleet led, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO-conducted exercise which will improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released)

 

This past October, FS 17 was the first demonstration of NATO’s smart defense concept: ships serving as air defense units protected naval ballistic missile defense units in an integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) environment. Ships from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States all participated in a live-fire IAMD scenario, defending against a subsonic anti-ship cruise missile threat. This exercise was an incredible step forward in demonstrating the NATO ballistic missile defense umbrella and highlights our shared commitment to defend our allies against the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles.

In a few months, we will be back in the “neighborhood” for one of our most sophisticated, largest, multi-mission, NATO exercises Trident Juncture, where we are anticipating more than 40,000 troops and over 30 NATO member and partner countries, along with 70 ships and about 130 aircraft. The purpose is to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to a threat from any direction. We couldn’t successfully execute such high-end warfare exercise without the support of the citizens of Faslane and the professionals at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde. It was truly an honor to visit Scotland, I appreciate all that Scotland does for the Royal Navy, U.S. Navy and NATO ships, submarines and aircraft.

As I’ve said before, NATO is not looking for a fight. But rest assured, we are ready to defend those ideals that we hold paramount to maritime security and regional stability. Our naval strength is as strong as our partnerships, and our partnership with the Royal Navy is ironclad; we are truly stronger together. I look forward to working with the Royal Navy as seeing the White Ensign on Royal Navy warships and submarines on the horizon is always a welcome sight.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/08/09/faslane-fit-to-fight-great-visit-on-the-clyde/ U.S. Navy