NATO July exercise in the Black Sea -WDF Exclusive | World Defense

NATO July exercise in the Black Sea -WDF Exclusive

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NATO plans exercise in July with Ukraine in the Black Sea -WDF Exclusive
06 June 2019
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Brussels - In a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, issued a joint statement, which was broadcasted on the NATO website.

During this communique, it was also announced that NATO plans to conduct a military exercise in the Black Sea, with the Ukrainian army in July 2019.

Mr.Stolenberg, stated that NATO will continue to provide political and practical support to Ukraine, including joint military exercises. An allocation of Euro40m had also been made, for Ukraine to improve its expertise in, cyber defense and military medicine.

President Zelensky, expressed hope that the NUC (NATO—Ukraine Commission ) would start soon, which had been stopped due to objections by Hungary, because of its concerns for the Hungarian community, in West Ukraine.
 
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U.S. Navy leads 18-nation exercise in Germany
By Allen Cone
June 10, 2019

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Marines and sailors aboard the USS Mount Whitney, a Blue-Ridge class amphibious command ship, make final preparations Tuesday in Kiel, Germany, before participating in BALTOPS 19 . Photo by Cpl. Abrey Liggins/U.S. Marine Corps

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A mechanic conducts a freshwater washdown Wednesday of a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter aboard the Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney in Kiel, Gerany, in preparation for Baltic Operations 2019. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jack D. Aistrup/U.S. Navy

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The USS Fort McHenry, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship, prepares to moor Thursday at Naval Base Kiel-Tirpitzhafen in preparation for Baltops 2019. Photo by Cpl. Abrey Liggins/U.S. Marine Corps

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The British Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, RFA Argus, sits pier side at Naval Base Kiel-Tirpitzhafen, Germany, on Saturday in preparation for BALTOPs 2019. Photo by Cpl. Abrey Liggins/U.S. Marine Corps

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The Turkish Gabya Class-frigate T.C.G. Gokova departs Naval Base Kiel-Tirpitzhafen, Germany, Sunday, in preparation for BALTOPS 2019 in Kiel, Germany. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua M. Tolbert/U.S. Navy

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Ships are moored pierside at Naval Base Kiel-Tirpitzhafen, Germany, Friday in preparation for BALTOPS 2019. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua M. Tolbert/U.S. Navy

June 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's 2nd Fleet is leading BALTOPS, a two-week, 18-nation exercise that involves 8,600 personnel in Germany's Baltic Sea port of Kiel.

The 47th annual multinational Baltic Operations began Sunday and ends June 21 among the NATO allies.

BALTOPS, which is an annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region, is one of the largest exercises in northern Europe "enhancing flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations," according to a Navy news release.

"No one nation can face today's challenges alone, we are much stronger together," Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet, said. "Our partner and NATO alliances must continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense efforts and adapt through improving readiness and responsiveness."

Other participating nations are Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey.

The exercise will include 50 surface ships, 36 aircraft and two submarines. The USS Mount Whitney, a Blue-Ridge class amphibious command ship, and the USS Fort McHenry, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship, are among the ships participating.

"I think BALTOPS represents the habit we have made in operating in a coalition environment and in a multinational environment," said British Royal Navy Rear Adm. Andrew Burns. "One of the advantages, particularly in the NATO framework, as we operate together more and more we standardize our procedures so we now have a generation of military folk who are used to operating together with standard procedures."

Activities will include finding and destroying sea mines and submarines, using air defense and landing troops onshore as well as defense against attack from enemy navy vessels.

NATO's Air Operations Center in Uedem will direct all air operations.

"Baltic Sea is of vital strategic importance for the Alliance and is bordered by six NATO countries," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a news release. "BALTOPS is now in its 47th year and is not directed against anyone -- but clearly the security environment in the region has deteriorated after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea."

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania touch the Baltic Sea, and Finland, Norway and Sweden dip into the sea.

A scheduled landing is planned in Klaipeda, Lithuania, about 90 miles from where Russia maintains a naval base in Kaliningrad, USNI News reported.

The 2nd Fleet command in Norfolk, Va., was re-established last year amid Russia's growing naval activity in the Atlantic.

"BALTOPS tests how well our forces work together and shows that NATO can defend itself against any adversary," Lungescu said.

Also, BALTOPS will be among the first major training opportunities for the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force, which includes 3,000 personnel from several NATO and partner countries.

After BALTOPS, most ships participate in the Kielerwochen naval parade in Kiel, NATO said.

 

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Russian Navy conducts firing drills in Baltic amid NATO exercise
June 11, 2019

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A group of ships from Russia’s Baltic Fleet has entered the Baltic Sea to conduct an exercise, the Russian Defense Ministry reports.

The group includes the corvettes Boikiy and Stoikiy, the small missile vessels Serpukhov, Zeleny Dol, Liven and Passat, and the anti-submarine ship Alexin. They entered the Baltic in order to practice firing torpedoes, missiles and artillery against imaginary enemy ships and airborne targets.

During the drill, the ships will rehearse search and destroy procedures, electronic missile launches, and defense against a large-scale air raid.

Between 9 and 21 June, NATO is conducting the Baltops 2019 exercise in the Baltic Sea. The drill is meant to demonstrate how well the NATO forces are able to work together and defend against any enemy. Soldiers from 18 countries will participate in the drill. The Baltops exercise has been held annually since 1972.

RIA Novosti reported with reference to Russia’s Southern Military District (SMD) that Russian A-50 early warning aircraft have been relocated to Krasnodar Krai to monitor the aerial situation over the Black Sea during the NATO exercise. SMD Spokesperson Vadim Astafyev said that this will help to prevent incidents with civilian ships and aircraft, which could end up in the alliance’s exercise zone. The A-50s will be escorted by Su-27SMZ fighters.

At the start of June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will conduct a joint exercise in the Black Sea with the Ukrainian military.

 

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Russia sends A-50 'flying radars' to Kuban amid NATO exercises
11 June 2019


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The head of the press service of the Russian southern military district, Vadim Astafyev said that the long-range radiolocation detection aircrafts A-50 were relocated to the Kuban.

According to him, "A-50 aircraft of Russian Aerospace Forces flew to one of the airfields located in the Krasnodar region."

The aircraft will monitor the air over the Black Sea during large-scale NATO exercises, which take place on the territory of several Black Sea countries in Eastern Europe.

This will prevent possible incidents involving civilian ships and aircraft that might accidentally end up in the area of NATO exercises, said Astafyev.

It is also noted that A-50 aircraft are accompanied by Su-27SM3 fighters in the airspace above the neutral waters of the Black Sea.

 
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European NATO members to boost spending this year
June 25, 2019
By Allen Cone
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The guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, seen in foreground, was a participant in the BALTOPS naval exercise of NATO allies in the Baltic Sea over 12 days in June. Photo by MCS2 Mark Anthony Hays/U.S. Navy

June 25 (UPI) -- The European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will increase defense spending for the fourth consecutive year amid calls by President Donald Trump for the allies to spend a greater share of their budgets on defense.

In a report released Tuesday on the 29-member alliance, NATO said the European countries would average 1.58 percent of gross domestic product this year on defense, which is an increase from 1.53 percent in 2018, 1.48 percent in 2017 and 1.46 percent in 2016.

The expenditures are military spending -- not payments to NATO.

"This is a good trend and we expect this to continue," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters from his Brussels headquarters.

In 2014, NATO members pledged to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024.

Seven nations will spend at least 2 percent on defense this year compared with three in 2014. European nations achieving this goals are Greece at 2.24 percent, Britain at 2.13 percent, Estonia at 2.13 percent, Romania at 2.04 percent, Latvia at 2.01 percent and Poland at 2.01 percent. The estimate for Lithuania is just shy of 2 percent, at 1.98 percent.

Comparatively, the United States tops the list at 3.42 percent with an estimated of $752 billion in spending, while in 2014 it was 3.73 percent at $654 billion.

The United States accounts for more than two-thirds of NATO's defense expenditure of $1 trillion.

Trump threatened to pull the United States out of NATO at the alliance's last summit in July 2018.

"For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by NATO -- but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies," Trump said at the State of the Union address in February. "Under my administration, we will never apologize for advancing America's interests."

Trump has taken aim at Germany, whom he referred to as a "captive of Russia."

"Germany pays 1% (slowly) of GDP towards NATO, while we pay 4% of a MUCH larger GDP. Does anybody believe that makes sense?" Trump tweeted last June. "We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade. Change is coming!"

Germany, which has Europe's biggest economy, will increase military spending to 1.36 percent of GDP this year -- $54 billion -- compared with 1.24 percent in 2018, according to NATO.

Canada's percentage is 1.27 percent compared with 1.29 percent last year. And France boosted its percentage to 1.84 percent from 1.82 last year.

The alliance is scheduled to discuss transatlantic "burden sharing" at meetings Wednesday and Thursday, also in Brussels.

 
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NATO Air Base to Install Saab Remote Air Traffic Management System
29 June 2019

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Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions has received an order to install a digital tower at NATO NAEW&CF E3A Component in Geilenkirchen, Germany which provides remote air traffic control.

NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen will use the digital tower for live operations during the refurbishment of the current control tower. This is the first order for an operational digital air traffic control tower at a military air base. Delivery will take place in 2020.

The digital air traffic control tower was introduced during 2015 in Sweden when Ornskoldsvik Airport became the first in the world with remote air traffic control which was followed by Sundsvall Timra Airport in December 2017. Starting in 2019, air traffic control at both Linkoping Saab Airport and Scandinavian Mountains Airport in Salen will be conducted remotely from Sundsvall.

Saab has developed the second generation of digital air traffic control towers, which will be installed at Geilenkirchen.
“NATO has stringent requirements on availability and security. With this equipment, NATO will possess new capabilities, enabled by a digital air traffic control solution,” says Per Ahl, head of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions.

Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions can manage the entire process from planning and implementation to the administration of air traffic control services.
 
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Ukraine and NATO change plan of Sea Breeze military exercises because of Russia

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 11:00:55 AM



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The plan of joint Sea Breeze—2019 exercises with participation of Ukraine, the USA, and NATO countries was changed due to Russia's actions in the Black Sea, reads the message of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.

The commander of the Ukrainian Navy Ihor Voronchenko said that the area of the maneuvers was changed due to the "attempts of Northern neighbor to confuse us with the sudden closure of the navigation area." "We took this as an additional challenge and are ready to counteract adequately," the commander said.

National Defense Management Center of Russia said that the Russian Black Sea fleet monitors the actions of NATO ships during the exercises "to respond to possible emergencies," reports RIA Novosti news agency.

Also, the Russian military deployed Bal and Bastion coastal missile systems during its exercises in the Crimea and the Caucasus coast, reports Interfax. "The personnel of the Bastion and Bal systems conducts drills on applying conditional missile strikes on sea targets in the designated areas when deploying from the march," reads the message of the Russian fleet.

International exercises Sea Breeze-2019 are held from 1 to 12 July at sea and on land, in the air and underwater. Exercises are attended by 19 countries and involve 32 ships, 24 aircraft, and more than 900 personnel. The US Navy destroyer Carney also arrived in the area of Black Sea to participate in the exercises.

 
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NATO Secretary General warns Russia of Alliance's 'defensive measures'
July 6, 2019


Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia that the Alliance would take defensive measures if Russia does not return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

He noted that "there are no signs of Moscow's desire to fulfill the terms of the missile deal so far, although "time is running out."

"The allies call on Russia again to fully and transparently comply with the Treaty," said Stoltenberg at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, reports Interfax news agency.

Earlier, on June 26, NATO countries agreed on political and military measures in case of termination of the INF Treaty.

 

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NATO has recently established new bases in Poland, some troops deployed in Ukraine. Russia is being strangled, no countermeasures seen so far.
 
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