Tallinn, Estonia – On 3rd June, Deputy Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) Lieutenant General Luis Lanchares, addressed the participants of the Pre-Sail Conference for BALTOPS 23, held in Tallinn, Estonia.
In the fifty-two years since BALTOPS began, NATO has never been stronger in the Baltic
An annual, US-led exercise in its 52nd iteration, BALTOPS is the premier annual, international maritime-led joint exercise in the Baltic Sea and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe. More than 50 ships, 45 aircraft and 6,000 personnel from 19 NATO Nations and Partner Nation Sweden will participate in the exercise.
Addressing the representatives of NATO and Partner Nation maritime commands and Commanding Officers of participating naval warships, General Lanchares first thanked the Estonian Armed Forces for hosting the conference, and then highlighted the importance of BALTOPS to Alliance defence in the region:
“BALTOPS trains and tests our navies’ ability to control the sea. This sea control in turn enables our land and air forces the freedom to choose when and where they conduct decisive military action.”
JFCBS is responsible for the coordination and alignment of NATO and National activities in Northern and Central Europe, in which the Baltic Sea Region is a key focus area.
This year marks the first BALTOPS since Finland became a full-fledged NATO member as a result of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Baltic Partner Nation Sweden has also applied to join NATO, a move that would further enhance the Alliance’s security in the region:
“Once this happens, nearly the entire Baltic Sea coast will be the coastline of NATO nations. In the fifty-two years since BALTOPS began, NATO has never been stronger in the Baltic” said Gen Lanchares.
BALTOPS will run from 4-16 June 2023 in the Baltic Sea.