NATO kicked off nearly a two-week United States-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea, including two aspiring to join the military alliance, Finland and Sweden.
BALTOPS naval exercise:
BALTIC OPERATIONS (BALTOPS) is an annual military exercise.
The annual BALTOPS exercise was initiated in 1972.
BALTOPS is the premier maritime-led exercise in the Baltic Sea region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe.
Its purpose is to improve maritime security in the region through partnership and the sharing of resources, and to enhance cooperation among the Baltic States.
The exercise also makes an excellent opportunity to test the skills and capabilities of the participating nations and – crucially – their ability to work together.
The host of the BALTOPS 22 exercise is Sweden.
A total of 14 NATO nations, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate, Kirby said.
Additionally, NATO partner nations Finland and Sweden will also participate this year — both nations have recently applied to join NATO.
BALTOPS 22 is scheduled to end in the German port of Kiel.