On June 16 NATO and partner countries’ forces training at multinational maritime-focussed Exercise BALTOPS conducted a demonstration amphibious landing operation on the coast in Nemirseta.
The operation was conducted by the UK Royal Marines, as well as the marines of the United States, Portugal and Romania, also, amphibious warfare ships of Poland and the U.S. ORP Gniezno and USS Fort McHenry, AV-8B attack aircraft of Spain, Merlin, Sea King and Sea Hawk helicopters of the United Kingdom and the United States in the role of air support. LNS Sėlis , LNS Aukštaitis, and Šakiai search and rescue ship of the Lithuanian Navy were ensuring safety of navigation in the area of operation.
“This is immensely important exercise to Lithuania, held for the 47th time in the Baltic Sea this year. It has always had military cooperation and readiness to respond to crises at its core. NATO and partner forces are showcasing readiness for collective defence, solidarity in ensuring security in the Baltic region and Europe at the Exercise,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said at the DV and Media Day of BALTOPS 2019.
According to Minister R. Karoblis, Exercise BALTOPS also reflects the importance of the Trans-Atlantic bonds and unity for European security. “Presence of U.S. forces, particularly the re-established U.S. 2nd Fleet, in the Baltic Sea is a particularly significant factor of deterrence,” he stressed.
The U.S. 2nd Fleet, re-established in 2018 by decision of the U.S. Navy is in the lead of BALTOPS 2019. It has been its premier operational activity in the Baltic Sea.
Running in the Baltic Sea region on June 9–21, BALTOPS 2019 involves more than 8 thousand personnel of various military forces, 50 warships and 40 aircraft from 16 NATO and 2 partner countries: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, United Kingdom, U.S., Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, France, Romania, Finland, Sweden, Turkey and Germany.
The main objective of the exercise BALTOPS 2019 is to strengthen coordination of capabilities for quick crisis response and regional stability, to promote peace and security in the Baltic region.
The demo amphibious landing operation in Nemirseta was observed by Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis, Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Training and Doctrine Command Brigadier General Gintautas Zenkevičius, Commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum General Erhard Bühler, Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command Vice Admiral Keith Blount other high-ranking officers of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, foreign countries, and representatives of the Government.