Exercise Northern Coasts (NOCO) 2011 is being conducted in the western Baltic Sea during Sept. 12-23. This year, NOCO, the largest naval exercise in the Baltic, is being combined with the Danish naval exercise DANEX.
German Magdeburg Type 140 corvette and Donau replenishment ship (© 2011 Bundeswehr/Guy Toremans)
The exercise has a special focus on small units like fast patrol boats, minehunters and corvettes. This year, it also includes the German Sandy Beach mine-clearance diver and explosive ordnance disposal diver exercise and special forces Exercise Green Dagger.
German Type 212 submarine U33 © 2011 Bundeswehr/Manuel DeClerck
Some nations, two NATO standing maritime groups and a special forces group with over 40 vessels, 20 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and 3,500 troops are participating under the operational control of the German fleet command in Glücksburg/Meierwik.
© 2011 Bundeswehr/Kevin Goebel
NOCO aims to prepare for real operations like counter-piracy and counter-terrorism and protecting the freedom of the seas by improving international cooperation through combined training in tactics and procedures to enhance interoperability and training of multinational task groups and staffs. It also seeks to improve operational capabilities through training in all warfare disciplines at the unit, force and staff levels. For example, Exercise Green Dagger will prepare participating special forces for assignment to the NATO Response Force.