VENTSPILS, Latvia --
The first phase of the multinational maritime exercise BALTIC OPERATIONS 2010 began here today with Marines, Sailors and their Latvian counterparts beginning the maritime preposition offload portion of the exercise.
The Marines of Charlie Company, 4th Landing Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group and the Sailors of Naval Beach Group 2 worked together to offload the first wave of equipment from the USNS PFC Eugene Obregon, a maritime preposition vessel.
The Marines and Sailors here join maritime forces from 12 different countries participating in the largest multinational naval exercise in the Baltic Sea region.
Throughout the Maritime Preposition Force (MPF) portion of the exercise, the Marines and Sailors will conduct a three-phase movement of tactical vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore and ship to peer, according to Lt. Cmdr. Don Gibb, Marine Forces Europe maritime operations officer.
The three phases of movement will be carried out by tactical convoy, commercial line haul and host-nation railway.
“The intent of our actions here is to work hand-in-hand with our Latvian ally as we prove the fundamental aspects of MPF offload,” said Mike Harvey, Marine Forces Europe preposition officer. “The benefits of this movement is that it allows us, as partner nations, numerous opportunities to operate together to build global maritime partnerships that will enable us to meet our collective regional maritime safety and security objectives.”
This year marks the 38th iteration of the annual exercise and includes forces from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the United States.
The Marine Corps service component portions of the exercise consist of the MPF offload, which demonstrates naval support capability in the region, and a combined U.S. and Estonian forces’ amphibious operation as well as a display of traditional maneuver warfare that is designed to improve interoperability between the two nations, according to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Eberwein, Marine Forces Europe BALTOPS lead exercise planner.
The exercise concludes on June 19, and all U.S. Forces will return to their home bases and stations.