News: Swedish Weather Forecaster On Board with Baltic operations
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Keen
USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Baltic Sea — Sweden's own national TV weather forecaster is currently deployed aboard USS Mount Whitney in support of Baltic Operations exercise 2009.
Swedish armed forces Maj. Ebba Martensson works in her off-time as the weather forecaster for two national channels, the Swedish equivalent to America's Public Broadcasting Service. She's currently working with a team of two additional meteorologists and oceanographers from the Swedish Armed Forces providing weather forecasts for U.S. and partner nations participating in BALTOPS.
"It used to be that each ship would receive weather reports from the weather centers in their countries," said Martensson. "We are on this exercise to establish a process where all the ships in BALTOPS are receiving the same report."
By ensuring that every ship is working on the same weather table, U.S. and partner nations can organize and plan operations with greater efficiency. BALTOPS forecasters are working together to give accurate daily reports to every ship and unit involved in the exercise.
"We use satellite pictures and radar images against atmospheric and oceanic models to forecast the weather," said Martensson. "After we feel the forecast is accurate, we send the reports to every ship in the exercise, as well as give briefs to aircraft pilots and the upper chain of command daily."
BALTOPS is comprised of forces from 12 countries and is the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea. Annually hosted by the United States Navy, the exercise aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.