Baltops 23: more than 30 NATO warships will arrive in Estonia

Source: Estonian Defence Forces

This year’s largest naval exercise in the Baltic Sea, Baltops 23, will begin on Saturday in Tallinn. More than 30 NATO warships and nearly 3,700 sailors will arrive in the capital in the coming days for the exercise.

“This year’s Baltops is a historic event for us, because there has never been such a large presence of NATO naval forces on Estonian soil at the same time,” said Commodore Jüri Saska, Commander of the Estonian Navy. “Baltops 23 shows the allies’ commitment to the defense of Estonia and the entire Baltic Sea region and proves that training in our waters is crucial for this defense.”

Allied ships coming to Tallinn are from the United States, Sweden, Poland, Holland, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Norway. The largest participating ship is the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), flagship of the United States 6th Fleet.

The first allied ships arrived in Tallinn today. The French corvette Commandant Blaison (F793) was moored in Bekkeri-Meerus harbor and the British amphibious assault ship HMS Albion (L14) was moored in to Old City Harbour.

Ships will be located in Old City Harbour, Hundipea Harbour, Mine Harbour, Bekkeri-Meeruse Harbour and Muuga Harbour.

The Estonian Navy has been planning the event in cooperation with allies and various Estonian partners for nearly three years. ” I would like to thank everyone we’ve had the chance to work together for BALTOPS 23 – special thanks to the Port of Tallinn for their great flexibility and cooperation,” said Commodore Saska.

The ships will leave the ports on June 4, and the first joint exercises in Estonian waters will take place on June 5.

Started in 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.



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