BALTOPS is the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region and one of the largest exercises in Northern Europe. BALTOPS is an opportunity to offer high end training for ally and partner nations from across the region in order to reassure and demonstrate NATO's long term commitment to security in the Baltic Region.
MCMDIV 31 has consistently participated in the BALTOPS exercises in a variety of roles including to serve as the subject matter expert for mine warfare at the task force level; the syndicate lead during exercise planning; and as both a task group commander and task unit commander. This year for the first time, the MCMDIV 31 staff as well as personnel from two other nations, Belgium and Germany, are participating in the exercise as part of their training and certification process.
German Navy Cmdr. Tim Amelunxen, the MCMDIV 31 action officer for BALTOPS, said this exercise is an essential element of the Partnership for Peace and is focused on advancing the interoperability, unity, and security of partner nations participating in the exercise as well as promoting regional stability in the Baltic Sea region.
MCMDIV 31 will be based ashore and tasked with coordinating the tactical employment of numerous mine counter-measures assets such as surface MCM ships, unmanned underwater vehicles, and explosive ordnance disposal divers in a shallow water environment in the Baltic Sea.
Amelunxen also said that there is a high degree of complexity involved in managing the safe and effective interaction between these platforms, sensors, and people to counter sea mine threats.
MCMDIV 31 is headquartered out of San Diego, but participates in exercises such as BALTOPS around the world to work with our allies and partners to train and prepare to respond to any real world sea mine threats.