By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, June 8, 2015 – The U.S. has joined 16 other NATO and partner nations in a Baltic regional maritime exercise demonstrating various integrated military capabilities, Defense Department spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said here today.
“Seventeen NATO and partner nations are participating in the 43rd iteration of the multinational, maritime exercise [Baltic Operations] 2015,” Warren told Pentagon reporters.
BALTOPS is an annual multinational exercise, Warren said, “designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability as well as demonstrate the resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region.”
The training event, which began June 5, includes forces from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom, Warren said.
“These exercises are taking place in Poland, Sweden, Germany and throughout the Baltic Sea through June 20,” he said.
Warren said 5,600 ground, maritime and air force personnel -- 2,000 of which are American -- and about 49 ships, 61 aircraft and one submarine, are participating in the operation.
“It will demonstrate air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations in a joint environment,” he said. “This is all to ensure regional security.”