America's Baltic Sea Commitment: Navy Exercise BALTOPS

By George Backwell
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Command ship USS Mount Whitney: Photo USN

Joint exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014, is set for June 6-21, in the Baltic Sea.
: U.S. Navy units include the amphibious command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and members of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as members of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/6th Fleet from Naples, Italy.

This year's exercise will include 1,300 U.S. service members, in addition to forces from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

BALTOPS aims to enhance multinational maritime capabilities and interoperability, while improving involvement in the larger Baltic region theater security cooperation strategy.

The objective of BALTOPS is to promote mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation among forces and personnel of the participating nations. Emphasis will be on the importance of maritime forces in maintaining regional stability. At the same time, the exercise demonstrates the United States' commitment to the security of northern Europe and the Baltic region through coordination of operations among regional countries.

Training scenarios will include air, surface, subsurface and mine warfare, with participants conducting advance information sharing, crucial to maintaining regional stability and maritime security in the region. BALTOPS will also enhance the capability of participants to conduct multinational peacekeeping missions. Specific training objectives will vary throughout multiple training scenarios scheduled to take place.

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