Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

HMS Iron Duke plays ‘Bad Guy’ in Baltops 2016

HMS Iron Duke plays ‘Bad Guy’ in Baltops 2016
13 June 2016
Having been deployed to as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for five months, HMS Iron Duke’s story has taken a twist in the multi-national BALTOPS 2016 exercise.

The Ship is playing the role of opposing (enemy) forces to give the rest of the NATO participants and partner nations a realistic and complex threat which it must try to counter in the exercise scenario.

Having worked as part of a NATO Task Group for the whole of its deployment so far, Iron Duke’s Commanding Officer becomes Commander of his own Task Group comprising Iron Duke as Flagship, 4 German Patrol boats, a Lithuanian warship and a support tender.

The role of the opposing forces is to simulate a threat, and Iron Duke along with her attached patrol boats have been injecting increasingly threatening behaviour towards their real-life NATO Allies to force them to react and train together.

The scripted scenario is all carefully stage managed by Exercise Control

The scripted scenario is all carefully stage managed by Exercise Control, the headquarters responsible for developing the scenario safely and achieving all training objectives.

As part of her temporary role as the ‘bad guy’, Iron Duke has been approaching BALTOPS warships, hailing them to keep clear and releasing propaganda via simulated news websites and social media feeds to provide a realistic narrative to which the Strategic Communications officers in the NATO formation can react.

The Portsmouth based Frigate has approximately one month left on its Baltic Deployment before returning to Portsmouth, but before the Ship’s Company arrive home to family and friends, they have one more large exercise and a number of regional engagement activities to complete.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet is the lead U.S. European Command component for the BALTOPS 2016.

The exercise is being executed by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) led by VAdm J Foggo USN.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.