Around 3,000 personnel from 19 NATO Allies and partners are taking part in the annual BALTOPS naval exercise that kicked off in the Baltic Sea on Sunday (7 June 2020). The 49th BALTOPS exercise, which runs until 16 June, involves maritime and air forces with around 30 ships and submarines, and 30 aircraft. The training includes air defence, anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction and mine countermeasure operations. For the first time, the exercise will be commanded ashore by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) from its headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal.
On June 9, six Italian Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft landed in Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, for a six- week NATO deployment safeguarding the airspace over and near the Ally in the High North. This is the second time after the spring of 2019, that Italy deploys its fifth generation fighter aircraft to the Allied mission providing interceptor capabilities to safeguard Icelandic airspace.
On Monday, 8 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg launched his outline for NATO 2030 in an online conversation with the Atlantic Council and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Over the coming months, NATO will engage with Allies, public and private sector experts, and young leaders to provide fresh thinking on how to make sure NATO remains ready today to face tomorrow’s challenges.