Allied forces participated in an amphibious assault on a beach near Ustka in northern Poland on Wednesday (17 June 2015), as part of naval exercise BALTOPS. The mock attack, aimed at defeating enemy forces occupying the coast, was commanded by the British ship HMS Ocean and the American USS San Antonio. Several waves of amphibious assault craft and two U.S. Navy hovercrafts brought approximately 700 British, US, Finnish and Swedish marines to shore, supported by US and Swedish fighter jets and attack helicopters.
“We saw an amazing exercise out on the water today,” said General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He hailed the performance of the forces involved, saying “I could not be more impressed with the job they have done.” General Breedlove called the exercise “a great example of interoperability and the capability that our NATO forces have together,” and a demonstration that “the Alliance is ready for the new security situation.”
BALTOPS is a multinational exercise held annually since 1971. This year, ships and aircraft from 17 countries, including 14 NATO Allies, are participating in the largest BALTOPS exercise ever. Overall, 49 ships and 5,600 troops are involved. BALTOPS is one of several major multinational exercises this month, including exercise Noble Jump – the first deployment test for NATO’s new quick reaction force – which is taking place in Poland from 9-19 June.
L. J. De Rothschild