ABOARD THE BATTLESHIP IOWA — The guns of the U.S. battleship Iowa thundered out over the Baltic Sea on Thursday in a display of firepower designed to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the defense of Northern Europe.
All nine of the huge 16-inch guns were fired simultaneously during the exercise, watched from close quarters by a Polish intelligence-gathering vessel in international waters southeast of Bornholm Island.
The Iowa is the first battleship to enter the Baltic since World War II, and its main battery of guns was the largest ever fired in the sea, according to the U.S. Navy.
The Iowa, which also carries Harpoon and nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missiles, is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War and was brought back into service with the battleship New Jersey to strengthen the Navy in 1983.
It is taking part in exercises with air and naval forces from Denmark, West Germany, Britain and the Netherlands.