BALTIC OPERATIONS (BALTOPS) is an annual military exercise, held and sponsored by Commander, United States Naval Forces Europe, since 1971, in the Baltic Sea and the regions surrounding it. BALTOPS is the premier maritime-led exercise in the Baltic Sea region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe. Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, has been leading the planning, coordination and execution of the exercise since 2015. BALTOPS 18 also has the core aim of delivering high-end training across the entire spectrum of naval warfare, including Anti-Aircraft Warfare, Air-Maritime integration, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, live gunnery and Mine Countermeasures operations, as well as Amphibious and Maritime Interdiction Operations and exercising against the Asymmetric Threat.
The intent of BALTOPS 2018 is to focus the exercise in the eastern and central Baltic region, retaining the Expeditionary nature of the exercise. The current possible scheme of manoeuvre would span the main playground for the exercise from the Baltic States in the east to the training areas on Bornholm Island, Denmark, and Ravlunda, Sweden, in the west and the training area in Ustka, Poland in the south.