Ships from various nations in the Baltic Region and the U.S. 6th Fleet command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) begin the underway phase of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014.
The annual multinational exercise is in its 42nd year and is conducted to enhance maritime capabilities and interoperability and to support regional stability.
BALTOPS is an annual military exercise, held and sponsored by the Commander, United States Naval Forces Europe, since 1971, in the Baltic Sea and the regions surrounding it.
The purpose of BALTOPS is to train gunnery, replenishment at sea, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), radar tracking & interception, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and scenarios dealing with potential real world crises and maritime security.
Naval Today Staff, June 11, 2014; Image: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Luis R. Chavez Jr.