The British Armed Forces are to take part in three additional exercises in the Baltic region as part of a series of measures taken to support and reassure NATO allies in Eastern Europe.
The Armed Forces’ participation in these exercises is a public demonstration of the UK’s continuing commitment to the collective security of NATO Allies.
The Royal Navy has deployed HMS Montrose (a Type 23 frigate) to participate in Exercise BALTOPS – the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Baltic Sea.
The Army has deployed over 100 personnel to Exercise SABRE STRIKE – a U.S. Army-led live-fire training exercise in Estonia and Latvia.
Exercise BALTOPS is hosted by the Commander, United States Naval Forces Europe and aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through partnership working and the sharing of resources.
It begins on Monday and will test allied and partner maritime niche capabilities including maritime security tasks while enhancing coordination and cooperation among Baltic Sea countries.
Exercise SABRE STRIKE began today and has drawn together service personnel from the US, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia and Norway, with the US contributing approximately 580 personnel.
The full UK contribution consists of an infantry company from 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (approximately 100 personnel), 12 artillery and engineer experts and 2 exercise controllers deployed to the Adazi training area near Riga.
Exercise ANAKONDA, a multinational exercise (up to 7,000 personnel including the US and Canada) based in Poland, will see a company group of around 200 British infantry troops take part in a live fire exercise at the Drawsko Pomorski training area in Poland this September.
The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond said: “The situation in Ukraine continues to be of great concern to the international community and it is right that NATO members and partners publically demonstrate our commitment to the collective security of our NATO allies.
“The UK continues to play a central role in providing reassurance to our allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.
“Our contribution to these exercises builds on other action we have taken, including the deployment of RAF Typhoons to the NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltic states.”
Press Release, June 09, 2014; Image: UK Navy