The NSC has just taken part in BALTOPS 23, a major US-led annual maritime exercise held in the Baltic Sea.
The NSC exercised Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) and the Allied Worldwide Navigational Information System (AWNIS).
The NCAGS team exercised their procedures in order to provide cooperation, guidance, advice and assistance to merchant shipping, support the commander’s mission, and to enhance the safety and security of merchant ships.
The AWNIS team practiced procedures and techniques to enhance the NSC’s contribution to Freedom of Navigation, which it does by providing Safety and Security of Navigation (SASON) information to military and merchant ships.
They achieved all this with a 9 member NCAGS/AWNIS team located in MARCOM HQ, 1 AWNIS Liaison officer, 1 NCAGS Liaison officer afloat, and an additional Deployed NCAGS Element (DNE) 12 member team located in Kiel.
The Kiel team were actively engaged with the merchant community. They contacted and briefed merchant ships, shipping companies and local authorities on the way NSC operates and NCAGS / AWNIS contribution to safety and security at sea.
Overall, the members of NSC had an excellent opportunity to exercise tactics, techniques, and procedures. They practised decision-making, which is always a challenge in an ever-changing environment. The training objectives were achieved and the cooperation and engagement were excellent, both in the military and merchant domain.