NATO began its 47th annual BALTOPS naval exercise that runs from 9 to 21 June in Germany’s Baltic Sea port of Kiel. The exercise involves maritime, air and ground forces with about 50 ships and submarines and 40 aircraft.
Around 8.600 U.S. and European troops from 18 nations are taking part in the training that enhances flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations by finding and destroying sea mines and submarines and defense against attack from enemy navy vessels.
Participating troops come from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Russia used to participate in the exercise but has not been invited since its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continuing destabilizing of eastern Ukraine.