In the southwestern part of the Baltic Sea, in the area between Germany and Denmark, on Sunday, June 7, the annual large-scale NATO naval exercises BALTOPS began. About three thousand military personnel from 17 alliance member countries take part in them, 28 warships, as well as 28 aircraft and helicopters, are involved.
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), equipped with the Aegis missile defense system and Tomahawk cruise missiles, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), the German frigate Lubeck (F214), the American and German auxiliary ships, are already at the training site. They entered the Baltic Sea the day before.
On Sunday, the warships of Denmark, Poland, and the Baltic countries headed for the training area. The ships of the Navy of the Netherlands and Finland (NATO partner), located at the German naval base in Kiel, are preparing to go to sea.
In addition, two operational naval groups are involved in the exercises: the First Permanent NATO Naval Group and the First NATO Permanent Mine-Sweeping Group.
Ships, aircraft, and personnel will fulfill the tasks of anti-submarine and air defense, mine action, as well as the organization of naval blockade. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, exercises will take place exclusively at sea, no ground operations are foreseen. The exercises will last until June 16, writes Interfax.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said earlier that NATO’s military activity does not stop, and did not rule out provocative actions by the alliance during the preparation and conduct of the parade in honor of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War