US Sixth Fleet’s Task Force 61 Naval Amphibious Forces Europe/2d Marine Division (TF-61/2) along with their Estonian counterparts have commenced exercise Hedgehog 2022.
Around 15,000 Estonian, the US and other allied nation’s forces will train together in the Baltic region.
The exercise will be conducted in and around Pärnu, Saaremaa and Võru in Estonia and will conclude on 30 May.
Hedgehog 2022, also known as Siil 22 in Estonian, is designed to provide an opportunity for the participating forces to train on security threat response and command and control.
The 15-day exercise will involve training drills such as a vertical assault raid, an amphibious landing exercise and multi-day force on force operations.
The US Navy’s TF 61/2 aligns several deployed forces under its Naval Amphibious Force commander, including 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), deployed amphibious ready groups (ARG), and Task Group 61/2.4 reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance (RXR) forces.
The deployment of 22 MEU in the exercise also showcases that US Marine Corps (USMC) are a naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, which can identify and deter threats and support fleet commanders’ operations.
TF 61/2 deputy commander and Task Group 61/2.4 (RXR) commanding officer colonel Robert Hallett said: “The Estonian military is incredibly professional, and we have similar goals in enhancing regional Maritime Domain Awareness.
“We look forward to the success of this exercise as a testament to the strength of our relationship with our Estonian allies and Baltic partners and as a demonstration of our shared commitment to regional security and stability.”