Saturday, September 19, 2009

Who is up for a BALTOPS?

BALTOPS, a Baltic Operation, which is a combined NATO and "Partnership for Peace" exercise to test communications and maritime cooperation between Northern European and Eastern Navies.

Digression alert!: The link to Commander Salamander is there because he mentions BALTOPS, although for a different reason. I wouldn't know about going to Denmark for any other reasons than good food and beer. I would prefer to go with the Spousal Unit, since she is superior company. The nice reader might want to go for their own reasons. Your mileage may of course, vary.

BALTOPS? It's also a grand excuse for wonderful port visits to places our Navy would ordinarily not visit.

Back in '95 and '96, I was working for the Surface side of Naveur OPS and was responsible for preparing the BALTOPS planning meetings. In other words I herded a group of cats and helped get their hotel rooms, coffee, donuts, per diem checks, and take them to hospitals when they were sick or injured.

It was great fun back then, and I got to meet some interesting and funny folks from the other Navies. Commodore Raimundas Baltuska, of the Lithuanian Navy being most memorable. He had the appearance of a malicious Uncle Fester, who had been a Soviet Navy Captain, commanding Juliet Class and Echo Class missile submarines. Looks are deceiving, Commodore Baltuska was a great storyteller and seemed pleased to be working with the USN and UK Navies. He gave me a Lithuanian Flag Letter of commendation for my small efforts in helping the conference to successfully meet. The pleasure was all mine.

Would I like to do a BALTOPS? Damn straight! In a fantasy world, I could get my yacht club friend DESRON 14 to authorize Barco Sin Vela to piggyback on a Frigate for the Atlantic crossing and return, we could crane back into the water in Europe and easily make all the port visits. None of the ports are more than a couple hundred miles apart, easily making Barco's maximum range of six hundred miles. Summer time in the Baltic would be wonderful, especially if I had some of my readers along as crew on the Barco Sin Vela!

Put me in coach, I'm ready to play!


Buck said...

Well, count me in for any BALTOPS. I'm kinda at loose ends and always wanted to party in Riga... I've seen pictures. That said, I'm thinking you might have a lil difficulty getting the Barco aboard a DDG or a frigate... :D

LL said...

I think the Barco would make a splendid Admiral's barge for a BALTOP or for any other evolution the navy may plan. They would of necessity need to have you aboard to serve as barge coxswain. I would be willing to ship aboard to serve as the Admiral's (and your) personal security detail. As a Russian speaker and former squid, I'd be perfect for the job...

JihadGene said...

If you're affiliated with ACORN or the SEIU I bet our current commander and chief could make it happen for ya.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Buck, I wouldn't mind a visit to Riga, either. LL; Great idea. Always good to have a "Speaker-to-Russians". Jihad Gene; We aren't qualified for SEIU or ACORN: I admit my earnings and pay taxes.