The Navy has announced that manoeuvres codenamed Rekin-22 will begin on Friday in the Baltic Sea. Nearly 20 vessels from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will take part in the tactical operations.
The Navy, in a communiqué, sent on Thursday, informed about the military manoeuvres under the codename Rekin-22 starting on Friday in the territorial waters of the Baltic Sea and the international South Baltic.
A spokesman for the Maritime Operations Centre – Maritime Component Command Cmdr Lt Piotr Dulas conveyed that the manoeuvres will integrate the activities of tactical compounds operating in the maritime domain, such as the 3rd Flotilla of Ships, the 8th Flotilla of Coastal Defence and the Naval Aviation Brigade.
– Additionally, the ships’ actions at sea will be supported by aircraft and helicopters of the Air Force, Special Forces and specialised shore units such as the Maritime Missile Unit, the 6th Radioelectronic Centre, anti-aircraft squadrons, sapper battalions or the Naval Command Battalion – enumerated Dulas.
‘Shark’ operations will also be carried out in cooperation with the forces of the Baltic Naval Squadron, which includes ships from the Baltic countries as well as specialists from the Marine Unit of the Border Guard, the Maritime Search and Rescue Service and the maritime offices in Szczecin and Gdynia.
Dulas emphasised in the communiqué that within the framework of this year’s Rekin-22 manoeuvres, a comprehensive operation will be carried out to protect shipping routes, prevent the blockade of the country from the sea and ensure the free flow of goods to allied countries.
– Nowadays, when maritime transport is even more important for the economy, ensuring safe sea lines of communication guaranteeing uninterrupted functioning of the supply chain and uninterrupted trade by sea is one of the most important issues not only in Europe, but also in the world,’ noted Lieutenant Commander Dulas in the communiqué.
He added that the manoeuvres, which will begin on Friday, are another exercise, following last year’s two editions of ‘Solidarna Belona’, which showcases the leading nature of the Polish Navy’s initiative in the Baltic region.
As indicated by a representative of the Maritime Operations Centre – Maritime Component Command, a number of episodes have been planned during the manoeuvres reflecting the widest possible spectrum of threats that may currently occur at sea.
– In preparing the exercise, the participation of forces necessary to ensure comprehensive protection in the Baltic region was planned, including, among others, a missile frigate, a patrol corvette, a missile ship, command ships of mine defence forces, a transport and mine-carrying ship, a mine destroyer, minesweepers, a hydrographic ship, rescue ships, a tanker and auxiliary vessels, Dulas mentioned in the communiqué.
He stressed that the crews of the ships will conduct artillery firing at surface targets, defence against air attacks and cover for strategic maritime transport.
The manoeuvres are also intended to carry out anti-mine actions enabling the safe passage of vessels through mined areas, carrying out ship supply at sea, restoring the readiness of vessels in ports or loading military technology from unprepared shore, as well as carrying out search and rescue operations or responding to asymmetric threats.
In addition, ship operations at sea will be supported by, among others, the Maritime Missile Unit, F-16 aircraft, Bryza patrol aircraft or helicopters – the SH-2G deck helicopter and W-3WARM and Mi-14PŁ/R rescue helicopters. The sailors will also perfect the conduct of operations in case of the use of hazardous chemicals.
The COM-DKM representative points out the significant role of the Baltic Sea and transshipped goods in Polish ports. He stated that they account for up to 10 per cent of the country’s total budget.
– Between 2,000 and more than 3,000 vessels pass through the Baltic every day. There is international trade, transfer of raw materials and passenger traffic. Polish ports handle more than 100 million tonnes of cargo a year, including strategic raw materials such as oil and liquefied gas,” noted Dulas.
He stressed that as part of the Rekin-22 manoeuvres, a number of ship and aviation actions will be undertaken to cover maritime transport and shipping safety.
– It is mainly about countering attacks from water and air and submarine attacks, he pointed out.
He added in the communiqué that the manoeuvres also include anti-mine, anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, as well as stabilisation, peace enforcement and humanitarian operations. Exercises of this nature are key to creating the atmosphere of maritime security necessary for the unhindered development of maritime transport and trade.