The international naval exercise"Baltic Bikini 2010" was opened in Klaipeda on July 26. More than 70 airborne personnel of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian Air Forces take part in the training event, reports BC the press service of the National Defence Ministry of Lithuania.
During the exercise, aircrews will train to abandon an aircraft after ditching, and drill their skills of using rescue equipment.
In the active phase, aircrews will rely on their own strength and rescue equipment at hand to dive out of the cockpit of an imitation aircraft submerged two meters under water. The cockpit will be lowered from a ship following the pattern of ditching. After that participants will use rescue equipment to stay on water surface for around an hour waiting for the rescue helicopter.
"Baltic Bikini" is organised by the Lithuanian Air Force, logistics of the exercise will be conducted by P-14 "Aukstaitis" of the Lithuanian Naval Force. Mi-8 on standby in the 1st Search and Rescue Post of Nemirseta will also participate in the exercise. Personnel of each Baltic State prepared for the exercise in their home countries. In the end of June airborne personnel of the Lithuanian Air Force's Airbase trained in Lake Gudeliai near Siauliai City.
"Baltic Bikini" is held for the seventh time. International sea survival exercise has been held in one of the three Baltic States by rotation since 2004. It involves airborne personnel of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian Air Forces – pilots, loadmasters, technicians, military medics flying with search and rescue crews. The Baltic States lent the name of the training event from their Danish colleagues that organize "Baltic Bikini" annually. According to the order used in Denmark, each training or exercise team is denoted with one letter.
The first "Baltic Bikini" training event was held in Denmark as a joint Baltic-Danish project. Under the project which was launched in 1999 Denmark handed over to Lithuania on a non-reimbursable basis a spectrum of rescuing equipment, trained aircraft crews to conduct rescue tasks, as well as rescuing instructors. From 2004 the Baltic States began arranging "Baltic Bikini" independently.