Northern Coasts, an annual maritime exercise hosted by the German navy, has commenced in the Baltic Sea.
About 30 warships and 3,200 personnel from 14 nations, including the United States and NATO member states, will participate in activities designed to build skills in amphibious operations, air defense, sea-to-land strikes and securing sea lanes. The latest iteration of the naval exercise focuses, for the first time, on high-end warfare and collective NATO action in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Finland, the newest member of NATO, and Sweden, which has applied to join the alliance, also sent their forces to the Baltic Sea for the two-week event.
Dylan White, acting spokesperson for NATO, said the ongoing war in Ukraine “radically altered” the situation in the Baltic Sea and the international organization has increased military presence in the region to deter aggression and demonstrate intent to defend allied territory.
“Seven – soon to be eight – NATO allies border the Baltic Sea, so the area is of crucial importance to our alliance,” he explained.