On 14-16 June two largest NATO ship formation groups – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMGMG1) participated in one of the largest annual naval exercise BALTOPS 2019 in the Lithuanian territorial waters of the Baltic Sea.
On Sunday, the Allied troops coastal landing operation took place, observed by Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis, Vice Admiral Andrew L. Lewis, the current commander of the United States Second Fleet and NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic, General Erhard Bühler, Commander JFC Brunssum, Vice Admiral Keith Edward Blount, commander Allied Maritime Command, NATO, and other high-ranking officer of the Lithuanian army and foreign countries.
Maritime, air and land force elements trained in the exercise BALTOPS 2019. Military ships maneuvering in formations, ships convoying, artillery shooting, anti-aircraft and anti-terrorist defense, mine hunting and deactivation, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations and other military procedures were conducted and improved.
The exercise in the Baltic Sea region on June 9-21 involves 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, leads the exercise. 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.