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News   Defense News

Sweden to Host Upcoming BALTOPS 22 NATO Exercise

May 26, 2022 , DOD News

Early next month, NATO kicks off the 51st iteration of its annual Baltic Operations exercise, which this year runs June 5-17 in the Baltic Sea, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said. 

Service members on the deck of a ship fire handguns at targets.
Target Practice
Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt participate in a 9 mm gun weapons shoot during BALTOPS21 exercise, June 10, 2021.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrea Rumple
VIRIN: 210610-N-CJ510-0227M
A helicopter hovers above a flight deck.
Lift Off
A MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Ghostriders” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 departs the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt during BALTOPS21 exercise, June 13, 2021.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrea Rumple
VIRIN: 210613-N-CJ510-0128M

"[The exercise] provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens combined response capability and is critical to preserving the freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea region," Kirby said during a briefing today. "Participating nations will exercise a myriad of capabilities that demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, including amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine, air defense exercises, as well as mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations." 

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. 

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In total, Kirby said, about 45 maritime units, 75 aircraft and around 7,000 military personnel will participate in the exercise. 

At the same time Sweden hosts this year's BALTOPS 22 exercise, Kirby said, it also recognizes the 500th anniversary of its own navy. 

"We're grateful for their ability to lead and to host this year," Kirby said. "It's a big exercise, lots to get done, and I know they're looking forward to it." 

A service member kneels on the ground and manipulates tools.
Baltic Ops
Marine Master Sgt. Sam McDaniels repairs tools outside a mobile field shop in Putlos, Germany, while participating in last year's BALTOPS21 exercise, June 8, 2021.
Photo By: Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel James Lanari
VIRIN: 210608-N-FV745-0027M
A small unmanned aerial system sits atop a box near the water.
Baltic Ops
The Magnetic Expeditionary Threat Locator is placed on its carrying case in between tests for accuracy in detecting materials in shallow water during BALTOPS21 exercise.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Hurd
VIRIN: 210611-N-EC031-1239M

As in previous iterations of BALTOPS, maritime and air forces will work together to exercise medical evacuation, joint personnel recovery, air defense, maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures and amphibious operations, to strengthen the cohesion and capabilities of NATO allies and partners. This year's BALTOPS exercise is led by U.S. Sixth Fleet and will be executed by Striking Forces NATO.