Maritime-focused exercise BALTOPS 2019 begins in the Baltic Sea

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On 14-16 June two largest NATO ship formation groups – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMGMG1) will participate in one of the largest annual naval exercise BALTOPS 2019 in the Lithuanian territorial waters of the Baltic Sea.

Maritime, air and land force elements will train in the exercise BALTOPS 2019. Military ships maneuvering in formations, ships convoying, artillery shooting, anti-aircraft and anti-terrorist defence, mine hunting and deactivation, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations and other military procedures will be conducted and improved.

The exercise in the Baltic Sea region on June 9-21 will involve more than 8 thousand personnel of various military forces from 16 NATO and 2 partner countries: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, United Kingdom, USA, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, France, Romania, Finland, Sweden, Turkey and Germany.

BALTOPS is already the 47th annual naval exercise in the Baltic region led by the United States. This year, the US. 2nd Fleet, reestablished last year, will lead the exercise. “U.S. 2nd Fleet will be leading the exercise, but make no mistake, it will be founded on NATO and partner principles,” said Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, commander, U. S. 2nd Fleet. “Through BALTOPS 2019 and exercises like it, we strengthen our relationships and improve overall coordination and interoperability between allies and partners during both peace and times of conflict.”

The main objective of the exercise BALTOPS 2019 is to strengthen coordination of capabilities for quick response to crisis and regional stability, to promote peace and security in the Baltic region.

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