Baltic States Naval Squadron (BALTRON) celebrates its 20th anniversary in Riga

11/28/2018 - 15:44
Information prepared by
Media Relations Section

On Friday, 17th August, in Riga, Baltic States Naval Squadron will celebrate its 20th anniversary with various events. 

At 10:00am, BALTRON will carry out a remembrance service at the 1st Forest Cemetery, followed by a flower laying ceremony at the grave of Navy Captain Ilmārs Lešinsks, the first commander of BALTRON. 

At 12:00am, BALTRON will officially launch the celebration at the Riga Cruise Port together with Viesturs Silenieks, Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of Defence, Brigadier General Ivo Mogiļnijs, Chief-of-Staff of the National Armed Forces Joint Headquarters, Rear Admiral Ingus Vizulis, Commander of Latvian Navy, Navy Captain Arūnas Mockus, Lithuanian Navy Commander, Navy Captain Jüri Saska, Estonian Navy Commander, former BALTRON commanders and other dignitaries. 

Navy ships A-53 “Virsaitis”, M-06 “Tālivaldis” and P-09 “Rēzekne”, moored in Riga Cruise Port, will be open for public from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. 

BALTRON will be represented by Lithuanian Navy command vessel N-42 “Jotvingis” and Latvian Navy minehunter M-06 “Tālivaldis”. 

Established in August of 1998, BALTRON ensures permanent rapid response capabilities at sea during the peacetime and crisis. 

BALTRON is currently led by Lieutenant Commander Audrius Venckūnas, (Lithuanian Navy), who took the duty over from Commander Junior Grade Kaspars Miezītis, (Latvian Navy), on 5th of January this year. 

Baltic national fleet ships rotate to BALTRON, a mine countermeasures squadron of two mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) and one command/supply vessel, for 6-12 months. BALTRON is engaged in mine clearance operations and military exercise enhancing safety of navigation in the Baltic Sea. Squadron is also involved in search and rescue operations. 

As previously announced, from 10th August until 16th August, BALTRON is conducting "BALTRON Squadex 18/2" exercise in Latvia. This training is designed to promote interoperability and compatibility of units, and it shall improve the rapid response capabilities and test the overall preparedness of BALTRON units for specific operations. 

BALTRON has already completed several military exercises this year, including training led by German Navy squadron, exercise “Open Spirit 2018”, “Baltic Fortress 2018”, “Baltops 2018” and other training.