A total of 14 NATO nations, including NATO partner nations Finland and Sweden, will soon kick off the 51st annual maritime-led joint Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 22).
The NATO allies, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, the UK and the US will participate in the exercise scheduled to take place between 5 and 17 June.
The exercise has been conducted since 1972 and will be linked to the 500th anniversary of the Royal Swedish Navy and to the German-led Multinational Air Group Days (MAGDAYs) exercise.
Starting in Stockholm, Sweden with a pre-sail event, and ending in Kiel, Germany, the training will have two phases: a combat enhancement training and a force integration training with a tactical segment of air defence.
The main aim is to further interoperability in the sector of amphibious and freedom-of-navigation operations, maritime interdiction, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, medical evacuation at sea and joint personnel recovery to demonstrate both NATO’s defensive nature and the readiness to defend the Baltic region, the officials pointed out.
“During BALTOPS 22 NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany will direct all air operations and synchronize them with the maritime activities, with the focus on freedom of movement and security in the Maritime Domain,” said Major General Harold Van Pee, Commander of CAOC Uedem.
In total, about 45 maritime units, 75 aircraft and around 7,000 military personnel will participate in the exercise.
This year’s BALTOPS exercise is led by U.S. Sixth Fleet and will be executed by Striking Forces NATO.