Seventeen NATO and partner nations gathered in the Baltic Sea Friday for a two week multinational maritime exercise aimed at increasing cooperative capabilities.
BALTOPS, currently on its 43 year, will consist of a total of 49 ships, 61 aircraft, one submarine. Approximately 5,600 ground, maritime and air forces from participating nations will conduct air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-subsurface warfare, and amphibious operations in a joint environment. The multinational exercise designed to enhance maritime functions and interoperability and to support regional stability.
"This exercise represents an important opportunity for our forces, as allies and partners, to enhance our ability to work together and strengthen capabilities required to maintain regional security. This exercise will be conducted in a truly joint environment, and I look forward to working with and learning from so many different nations and services." - Vice Adm. James Foggo III, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and commander, Striking and Support Forces NATO
While BALTOPS remains a U.S.-led exercise, Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) is responsible for executing this year's exercise. The operation will take place between June 5 - 20 throughout the Baltic Sea.
Participants in include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.