The Estonian Navy to participate in a large-scale NATO exercise

The Estonian Navy on 5 June departed for Baltops (Exercise Baltic Operations), a large-scale military training in the Baltic Sea in which altogether 19 NATO member states take part.

The exercise will happen from 7-16 June and Estonia is contributing 80 sailors and divers to the training. The Estonian Navy minehunter, EML Sakala, and the auxiliary ship, Wambola, are joining the exercise that involves 3,000 people from 19 NATO member states. According to the navy, altogether 29 ships and 29 aircraft will take part in the training.

“To guarantee the safety and health of the participating members of the military, the Baltops 2020 exercise will take place only at sea,” the Estonian Navy said in a statement.

“This will enable the units to perfect cross-border operative cooperation and ensure the safety and readiness of the crews to guarantee ongoing regional security.”

Sailors on the auxiliary ship, Wambola.

To foster the level of peace and security

The Baltops exercise will happen for the 49th time. This year, Estonia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will take part.

The exercise came about for the first time in 1972 and it is an annual international training that shows NATO’s dedication to foster the level of peace and security in the region, the Estonian Navy said.

“Its purpose is to expand the participating countries’ flexibility in conducting their armies, air forces and navies’ joint operations in the Baltic Sea region,” the navy added.

Cover: The Estonian Navy minehunter, EML Ugandi (315) and the auxiliary ship, Wambola (433). Images courtesy of the Estonian Navy.

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