BALTOPS 22 naval drills taking place in and around Baltic Sea

From June 5 to 17, a large-scale annual international military exercise dubbed "BALTOPS 22" will take place in the Baltic Sea region, with the participation of 14 NATO members: the United States, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Turkey, as well as Sweden and Finland, which recently applied to join the alliance.

"With both Sweden and Finland participating, NATO is seizing the chance in an unpredictable world to enhance its joint force resilience and strength together with two aspirants for Alliance membership in a combined effort," NATO said of the drills.

BALTOPS 22 is one of the largest exercises in northern Europe. Latvia's National Armed Forces will be represented in this exercise by Air Force subunits and Air Force infrastructure, Naval soldiers at training headquarters and a team of divers; the patrol ship "P-08 JELGAVA"; National Guard subunits and the National Guard training infrastructure. 

Within the framework of the BALTOPS 22 training scenario, several tactical operations with the involvement of Allied ships, aircraft and armored vehicles will be carried out in the territorial waters of Latvia and in the territory of the 4th Kurzeme Brigade of the National Guard, including a landing.

According to NATO "more than 7,000 sailors, airmen and marines, 75 aircraft and 45 ships" will participate in BALTOPS 22, though a release from the Latvian Armed Forces quoted figures of "more than 4,000 soldiers from naval, air and ground forces" plus "more than 60 aircraft and 40 different ships".

The first BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea took place in 1971. Latvia started participating in 1996. 

Members of the public are advised that until June 17, on the coast of Kurzeme and on the main and regional roads in Kurzeme, it will not be surprising to see the participants in the training, including the flight of aircraft, the movement of soldiers and military equipment, and that this is no cause for alarm. 

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