Huge NATO exercise in the Baltic: “NATO is ready to defend itself”


The NATO exercise “BALTOPS 22” is being held in the Baltic region. 16 countries are participating. Among them Sweden and Finland, which recently applied to become members of the alliance.

Courtesy photo by Swedish Armed Forces/Helikopter wing

The U.S. Navy announced:

“Fourteen NATO allies, two NATO partner nations, over 45 ships, more than 75 aircraft, and approximately 7,000 personnel kick off Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 22) from Stockholm today.

This premier maritime-focused annual exercise in the Baltic Region takes place June 5-17 and provides a unique training opportunity to strengthen combined response capabilities critical to preserving freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea. This is the 51st iteration of the exercise series that began in 1972.

Courtesy photo by Swedish Armed Forces/Helikopter wing

[…] Participating nations include Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries will exercise a myriad of capabilities demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. Exercise scenarios include amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine, air defense, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, unmanned underwater vehicles, and medical response.

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Heidi Cheek

The exercise is led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Sixth Fleet, command and controlled by STRIKFORNATO. Royal British Navy Rear Admiral James Morley, STRIKFORNATO deputy commander, will command the exercise control group.

“BALTOPS is a fabulous opportunity for allied and partner nations to train together at sea, in the air and on the ground – improving interoperability and experience working together.” said Morley. “It also serves to assure those in the region that NATO is ready to defend itself.”

Unique to BALTOPS 22 is Sweden’s celebration of their Navy’s 500th anniversary coinciding with the exercise. […] The exercise also builds on previous iterations by enhancing the incorporation of the space domain through the NATO Space Center […].”

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