Estonia: Naval drills kick off on Saaremaa Island on fifth day of BALTOPSJune 13, 2019 at 17:08 (GMT) · Published
US, Spanish and Romanian forces kicked off naval drills on Estonia's Saaremaa Island in the Baltic Sea on Thursday, as part of an annual exercise to foster interoperability between NATO allies.
As part of the drills, marines could be seen securing the beachhead of Saaremaa Island in order to prepare for follow-up forces to land and flow onto makeshift enemy territory.
"Being able to work with other nations, with countries like the Spanish and Romanians, it’s building interoperability. You know, we may work together again, in some climate and some place," said US Marine Corps Commander Captain Neil Simmons. He added that that the best part of the exercises was to be able to exchange knowledge with one another.
Some 8.500 personnel will be involved in this year's operations along with 50 ships, 36 aircraft and two submarines.
Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) is in its 47th year of operation and will be held from Sunday, June 9 – Friday, June 21.