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Baltic Fleet turns 307

Baltic Fleet turns 307 18.05.2010
Text: Vesti.Ru
Photo: BF frigate Neustrashimy. navsource.narod.ru
Baltic mariners celebrate an occasion on Tuesday Ц the oldest Russian fleet turns 307. In this connection the Open Day was arranged at the main BF naval base in Baltiysk.

Normally, there are few civil visitors coming to Baltic Fleet main base, but today is the Open Day in Baltiysk. Kaliningrad schoolboys are enthusiastically looking at the ship's heliport and arms. They are told about severe naval life, the cook's menu, and naval uniform. Girls are surprised that everything is thoroughly considered; each crewman is provided even with slippers.

The Russia's oldest fleet turns 307 today. On May 18, 1703 Russian flotilla manned by naval soldiers of Preobrazhenky and Semenovsky regiments and led by Peter the Great for the first time achieved victory in the Baltic. Today's Baltic Fleet consists of 50 surface warships, submarines, naval aviation, air defense force and coastal defense troops. The fleet is still proves its combat readiness and represents St. Andrew's flag in various regions of the World Ocean. Not without reason dozens of grateful telegrams from different countries worldwide are still addressed to BF frigate Neustrashimy which had been on anti-piracy mission twice.

Those patrols have already become a contemporary history of Russian Navy. The frigate had been securing merchant shipping in the piracy-risky region. Through her patrols, Neustrashimy had successfully escorted 90 civil vessels.

Not once the ship had to repel pirates' attacks upon transport convoys. Baltic mariners have obtained unique experience useful in development of new tactics against sea hijackers. Thanks to that, it was Neustrashimy which managed to arrest pirates during joint rescue operation held along with USS Farragut.

"I don't mean Americans did wrong, but they tried to approach a small boat by their huge destroyer. It's not effective. So we decided to drop our small-size cutter which reached pirates first", tells Alexei Apanovich, commanding officer of Neustrashimy.

When pirates were delivered on board the warship, they had only a navigation device. They managed to throw arms overboard. The pirates were questioned by procuracy officers on board Neustrashimy.

"There was only one guy who spoke English a little. He told they had been working for food and clothes. They were just poor doers of this pirate activity; all the ransom money must be taken by somebody else", says Igor Isaikin, officer of Neustrashimy.

Most ships of Baltic Fleet are completely manned by draftees. Many of those who had taken to the Navy remain in the profession, continue training, and become naval officers. On Tuesday the decks are swabbed, and all chains are traditionally limed. Instead of regular navy's pasta, today's festive menu includes various dishes and sweeties.

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