We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The Royal Navy has joined the other partner nations for the annual military exercise called the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), which has been organised by the United States Naval Forces Europe since 1971. The aim of the military drill, which takes place in the Baltic Sea and surrounding regions, is to strengthen international partnerships. The nine-day exercise will involve 28 vessels, 29 aircrafts and 3,000 personnel from across the 19 nations.
HMS Kent and minehunter HMS Ramsey will set sail from the UK this week to participate in the BALTOPS exercise.
Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “HMS Kent represents a Navy that has continued to train and operate throughout the Coronavirus pandemic so that, alongside our allies, we’re ready for whatever comes next.”
The UK’s participation in the annual exercise reaffirms the country’s commitment to the independence of the Baltic Sea Region, which accounts for up to 15 percent of the world’s cargo traffic.
With HMS Kent exercising on BALTOPS, the UK will contribute to the region’s security in the sea, the sky and on land.
HMS Kent’s Commanding Officer Commander Matt Sykes said: “My ship’s company are eager to take part in the exercise and up for the challenge, focussing on our ability to operate seamlessly with our NATO and partner nations.
“In these turbulent times, it is also vitally important that we demonstrate our commitment to the region and to upholding the principles of freedom of access to the Baltic Sea.”
The operation hopes to strengthen NATO’s combined maritime capabilities and demonstrate their collective resolve to safeguard security in the Baltic Sea Region.
BALTOPS will see Allies train together on a variety of maritime exercises including air defence, anti-submarine warfare and mine-hunting.
JUST IN: Why experts fear Baltic Sea shipwreck is ‘ticking time-bomb’
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the series of exercises will be commanded ashore by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) at its headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal.
The operation will take place exclusively at sea, in order to safeguard the participating military personnel.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “The Baltic Sea is of vital strategic importance for the Alliance and is bordered by six NATO countries, and two close partners.”
She added: ”While we continue to take all the necessary measures to protect our armed forces against the health crisis, our operational readiness remains undiminished.”
Global tensions soar: NATO vows to respond to any Russia attack [INSIGHT]
RAF Typhoons intercept two Russian fighter jets over Baltic Sea [DETAILS]
Baltic Sea anomaly: Breakthrough at suspected ‘underwater UFO’ [PICTURES]
BALTOPS is the largest exercise series in the Baltic Sea.
Participating troops come from Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the United States.
The operation involves a range of training scenarios, based on potential real-world events and crises, in which the participants act as either the defending or opposing force.
Each of the scenarios are designed to test the participants’ individual capabilities, as well as their overall ability to respond to threats as a combined force.
Source: Read Full Article