Baltic Fortress 2015: NATO warships start drills off Lithuanian coast

RT, May 11

Around 20 vessels representing nine NATO member states have begun the Baltic Fortress 2015 exercises, taking place off the Lithuanian Baltic Sea coast.

Warships from Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and the UK are participating in the exercises, accompanied by a Lithuanian Navy submarine unit and two airplanes from the country’s Air Force.


NATO’s ground forces are also currently involved in two exercises in the Baltic States.

Up to 3,000 Lithuanian troops are taking part in the Zaibo Kirtis (Lightning Strike) drills, aimed at perfecting joint action by the army and civilian authorities against so-called hybrid threats combining both military and non-military methods of fighting.

Estonia is also holding its largest-ever military exercises – Siil (Hedgehog) 2015, involving 13,000 personnel.

The war games, scheduled to conclude on May 15, also include forces from the US, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands.

Since Russia’s reunion with the Crimea and the start of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine last spring, NATO forces have stepped up military exercises along the Russian border – in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

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