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Nations Participate in Gunnery Exercise during BALTOPS 2014

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140616-21
Release Date: 6/16/2014 3:01:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) DJ Revell, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East

USS OSCAR AUSTIN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) participated in a gunnery exercise with German navy ship, FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (F218), as one of many events during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014, June 13.

A Naval Gunnery Target balloon (NavTGT) served as the exercise target. Sailors fired shots from 25 millimeter and 50 caliber guns as well as the 5-inch gun. In addition, a helicopter assigned to the Proud Warriors of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 also participated by targeting the NavTGT with an aircraft mounted M240 gun.

'This type of training familiarizes the shooter with the weapon,' said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Moises Santana, a Sailor assigned to Oscar Austin. 'The safe training environment prepares them for any future engagements safety and confidently.'

The purpose of the exercise is to prepare the ship and its Sailors in case they get called into urgent action. It also gives Sailors an opportunity to test their firing accuracy with various types of weapons.

'We worked day and night in preparation for today's exercise,' said Fire Controlman 1st Class Mitchell. 'Exercises like this are what we train for, so today was a success.'

BALTOPS 2014 is an annual, multinational exercise to enhance maritime capabilities and interoperability with partner nations; promote maritime safety; and foster security in the Baltic Sea.

Participants create and sustain partnerships, knowledge and skill sets across a broad range of mission areas to strengthen the capabilities of both individual services and the international force.

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