In a large-scale maritime military operation, NATO commenced BALTOPS 23 naval drills in Estonia, with participation from more than 30 warships belonging to NATO member nations.
The news was confirmed by a statement released by the Estonian Defence Forces on Saturday.
According to the Commander of the Estonian Navy, Rear Admiral Jüri Saska, these maneuvers will be remembered in history as Estonia has never hosted such a significant number of NATO vessels before.
The statement also highlighted that over 30 warships from NATO and its partner nations have arrived in Estonia to conduct the exercises. Participants this year include allies from the United States, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, and Norway.
The largest vessel participating in the exercises is the “USS Mount Whitney,” the command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet, as per the statement.
The U.S. Navy previously reported that a total of 50 ships, more than 45 aircraft, and 6,000 personnel will be involved in the BALTOPS 23 exercises, which continue until June 16.
Exercise Baltops is the largest multinational exercise in the Baltic Sea and has taken place since 1972.
Its purpose is to improve maritime security in the region through partnership and the sharing of resources and to enhance cooperation among the Baltic states.