NATO Begins Large Naval Exercise BALTOPS in Baltic Sea With 46 Ships 61 Aircraft & 5600 Troops

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Naval Forces News - NATO
 
 
 
NATO Begins Large Naval Exercise BALTOPS in Baltic Sea With 46 Ships 61 Aircraft & 5600 Troops
 
Scores of ships and aircraft from 17 countries are taking part in Baltic Sea naval drills as part of exercise BALTOPS which started on Friday, 5 June 2015 and runs until 20 June. Allied participation demonstrates NATO's resolve to defend the Baltic region, and will hone the ability of Allies and partners to work together.
     
Scores of ships and aircraft from 17 countries are taking part in Baltic Sea naval drills as part of exercise BALTOPS which started on Friday, 5 June 2015 and runs until 20 June. Allied participation demonstrates NATO's resolve to defend the Baltic region, and will hone the ability of Allies and partners to work together.
US Navy file picture of BALTOPS 2014

     
The exercise will feature anti-submarine warfare, air defence, intercepting suspect vessels and amphibious landings. A total of 49 ships, 61 aircraft, one submarine, and a combined amphibious landing force of 700 U.S. Finnish and Swedish troops will participate in the drills. Fourteen NATO Allies are joined this year by NATO partners Finland, Georgia and Sweden. Overall, 5,600 troops will be involved.

"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," said Vice Admiral James Foggo III, the Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO. He added: "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".

While BALTOPS is a United States-led exercise, Vice Admiral Foggo and his NATO staff are responsible for executing this year's exercise. Participants include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The annual BALTOPS exercise is not held in response to any specific threat. The exercise has been held since 1971, and is now in its 43rd year. It is also part of the ALLIED SHIELD series of exercises.

This month, NATO and Allies will conduct a series of training events. The ALLIED SHIELD series includes not only BALTOPS but also Exercise NOBLE JUMP, the first training deployment of Allied high-readiness units under the new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) framework. SABER STRIKE, a significant land exercise in the Baltic States; and TRIDENT JOUST, a NRF command and control exercise in Romania.

In total, approximately 15,000 troops from 19 different Allies and 3 partner nations will participate in this series of training events taking place across the Alliance. All of these exercises are defensive and are a part of NATO’s assurance measures in response to challenges on NATO’s southern and eastern periphery.

The activities will focus on enhancing interoperability, readiness and responsiveness among Allied and partner nations. ALLIED SHIELD demonstrates that NATO members are united in their commitment to collective defence.
 

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