Intl maritime Exercise BALTOPS 2018 starts in Baltic Sea
International Exercise BALTOPS 2018 starts in the Baltic Sea on Monday, with 43 ships, 60 planes and 5,000 troops from 22 countries taking part.
A landing operation will take place on Nemirseta beach on Monday, and President Dalia Grybauskaitė will be watching it.
„It's the first exercise of that scale," the Lithuanian president said in a recorded statement handed over to the media by her press service. She hopes to evaluate allies' readiness to defense the country.
"We'll evaluate our partners' readiness if they needed to do their duty," the Lithuanian president said.
Simultaneously, the national exercise of Special Operations Forces Flaming Sword, U.S. exercise Saber Strike, and NATO exercise Steadfast Cobalt are organized.
All in all, up to 13,000 troops will train in Lithuania at the same time.
BALTOPS 2018, held on June 4-15, this year is organized by the Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and will be commanded from aboard USS Mount Whitney by Commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti. This is the first time Lithuania has been entrusted with the organization of BALTOPS preparation phase.