Poland-hosted Baltic Sea drill BALTOPS 17 ready for take off

Illustration: Ships sail in formation during the 2015 edition of BALTOPS. Photo: US Navy

Poland is hosting 40 ships from 14 nations for this year’s edition of the international Baltic Sea exercise BALTOPS 17.

Starting June 1, the drill will be the 45th iteration of the annual maritime exercise.

Air, maritime, and ground assets from several NATO allies and partner Nations will be involved in the live training event that sets sail from Szczecin, Poland and finishes in Kiel, Germany, on June 16.

BALTOPS 17 will be attended by Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States and NATO’s Enhanced Opportunities Partners: Finland and Sweden.

With three days to go before the exercise starts, some participants are already got underway from their homeports en route to the Baltic Sea.

The exercise will involve 4,000 shipboard personnel, 50 ships and submarines and more than 50 aircraft. It is designed to strengthen combined response capabilities, as well as demonstrate resolve among allied and partner Nations’ forces to ensure stability in, and if necessary defend, the Baltic Sea region.

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