BALTOPS 2019 kicks off in Germany

Marines and Sailors aboard the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), a Blue-Ridge class amphibious command ship, make final preparations before executing Exercise Baltic Operations 19 (BALTOPS) at Kiel, Germany, June 4, 2019. BALTOPS is an annual joint, multinational, maritime-focused military exercise designed to improve training value for participants, enhance flexibility and interoperability, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Abrey Liggins)
June 08, 2019

KIEL, Germany – Maritime forces from 18 nations commenced the in-port operations for the
47th annual multinational exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) in the Baltic Sea, June 9-21.

BALTOPS is the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe enhancing flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations.

Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, will lead the exercise on
behalf of Naval Forces Europe.

“No one nation can face today’s challenges alone, we are much stronger together,” Lewis said.

“Our partner and NATO alliances must continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense efforts and adapt through improving readiness and responsiveness.”

The focus of the exercise is for ground, maritime, and air forces to work together in exercising air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-subsurface warfare, mine countermeasures, and amphibious operations, in order to strengthen the development of our joint teams across all layers of the battlespace.

The exercise will include the participation of 50 surface ships, 36 aircraft, two submarines, and 8,600 personnel in a joint operational environment.

“I think BALTOPS represents the habit we have made in operating in a coalition environment and in a multinational environment,” said U.K. Royal Navy Rear Adm. Burns OBE. “One of the advantages, particularly in the NATO framework, as we operate together more and more we standardize our procedures so we now have a generation of military folk who are used to operating together with standard procedures.”

Nations participating in BALTOPS 2019 include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
BALTOPS is an opportunity to promote partnerships, presence, and professionalism through an unambiguous display of strength in the Baltic region.