Sweden will host upcoming BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise> US Department of Defense> News from the Department of Defense
At the beginning of next month, NATO begins the 51st iteration of its annual Baltic Operations exercise, which this year takes place June 5-17 in the Baltic Sea, said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby.
“[The exercise] provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens the combined response capability and is crucial to preserving the freedom of navigation and safety in the Baltic Sea Region, “Kirby said during a briefing today.” Participating nations will exercise a myriad of capabilities demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, including amphibious operations, cannon fire, anti-submarine, air defense exercises, as well as demining operations, disposal of explosive ammunition and diving and rescue operations. ”
A total of 14 NATO nations, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate, Kirby said. In addition, the NATO partner nations Finland and Sweden will also participate this year – both nations have recently applied to join NATO.
In total, Kirby said, about 45 maritime units, 75 aircraft and about 7,000 military personnel will participate in the exercise.
While Sweden is hosting this year’s BALTOPS 22 exercise, said Kirby, it is also paying attention to the 500th anniversary of its own fleet.
“We are grateful for their ability to lead and host this year,” said Kirby. “It’s a big exercise, a lot to do and I know they’re looking forward to it.”
As in previous iterations of BALTOPS, naval and air forces will work together to carry out medical evacuations, joint staff recovery, air defense, maritime prohibition operations, anti-submarine warfare, anti-personnel mines and amphibious operations, to strengthen the cohesion and capabilities of NATO allies and partners. This year’s BALTOPS exercise is led by the US Sixth Fleet and will be conducted by the Striking Forces NATO.