US Pentagon press secretary John F Kirby has announced that the 51st iteration of Nato’s annual Baltic Operations exercise, known as BALTOPS 22, will be hosted by Sweden.

The exercise will take place in the Baltic Sea region from 5-17 June.

Overall, 14 Nato member nations and contingents from Sweden and Finland will participate in the exercise. Notably, the two nations have recently applied for Nato membership.

Kirby said: “We’re grateful for their ability to lead and to host this year. It’s a big exercise, lots to get done, and I know they’re looking forward to it.”

The 14 Nato member nations are the US, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the UK, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey.

Exercise BALTOPS 22 will be led by the US Sixth Fleet and it will be executed by Naval Striking and Support Forces Nato (STRIKFORNATO).

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This year, the exercise will involve participation of 45 maritime units, 75 aircraft and around 7,000 military personnel.

Similar to previous editions, BALTOPS 22 will see air force and maritime personnel work in coordination to carry out a variety of drills.

The training operations will include joint personnel recovery, medical evacuation, air defence, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), maritime interdiction, mine countermeasures and amphibious missions.

Kirby said: “The exercise provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens combined response capability and is critical to preserving the freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea region.

“Participating nations will exercise a myriad of capabilities that demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, including amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine, air defence exercises, as well as mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.”