Exercise BALTOPS 18 begins in Klaipeda
KLAIPEDA, Lithuania – The 46th edition of exercise BALTIC OPERATIONS (BALTOPS) will take place in the Baltic Sea from 1 to 15 June. Air, maritime, and amphibious assets from NATO Allies and Partners will be involved in the live training event that sets sail from Klaipeda, Lithuania and finishes in Kiel, Germany.
The exercise will feature live-fire training, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, air defence, and, for the first time, joint personnel recovery from the sea. A total of 43 maritime units, 60 aircraft, and a combined amphibious landing force will participate in the drills. Once again, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) will be in control of the exercise.
"This is the 46th BALTOPS exercise and the fourth that STRIKFORNATO has had the privilege to lead. The planning has been detailed and we are now set for a successful two weeks in the Baltic region," said Colonel Garth Manger, BALTOPS Chief of Staff. He added: "this year we have brought together a strong maritime Task Force of over 40 ships with first class support from over 60 aircraft and 4700 sailors, marines, and airmen representing 22 NATO and Partner Nations. Throughout the exercise we will be practicing our ability to dominate the maritime battlespace and demonstrate how NATO and Partners can come together and fight as one."
Initiated in 1972, BALTOPS continues to play a significant role in enhancing co-operation between NATO Allies and Partners in the Baltic Sea.