Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 22, the 51st iteration of the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, takes place from June 5-17. BALTOPS 22 provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens combined response capability critical to preserving the freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea region. Fourteen NATO Allies, two NATO partner nations, over 45 ships, more than 75 aircraft, and approximately 7,000 personnel will participate in BALTOPS 22.
Participating nations include Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They will exercise a myriad of capabilities demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, including: amphibious operations, gunnery, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, unmanned underwater vehicles, and medical response.
Unique to BALTOPS 22 is Sweden’s role in hosting the exercise, coincidentally occurring during their Navy’s 500th anniversary. BALTOPS 22 will feature more robust medical response scenarios, specifically personnel recovery training involving a submarine. Additionally new to this year’s iteration is the incorporation of a coordinated in-scenario secular chaplaincy response and religious services comprising of five participating nation chaplains. BALTOPS 22 builds from the BALTOPS 2021 scenario story lines and continues the incorporation of the space domain in coordination with the NATO Space Center.
Initiated in the 1972, BALTOPS is an annual exercise that visibly demonstrates NATO’s commitment to preserving regional peace and security by exercising a team of international forces that can rapidly respond in a time of crisis. The purpose of BALTOPS is to train gunnery, replenishment at sea, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), radar tracking & interception, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and scenarios dealing with potential real world crises and maritime security.