Nations worldwide are preparing to face Russia if Moscow launches an attack or assault in the region.
Another important aspect of the naval exercise will be to secure the maritime routes in the Baltic Sea, a key international shipping route.
For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, NATO members, including the soon-to-be part of the alliance Sweden and countries from the US-led alliance, will perform naval drills focussed on how to respond to Russia if it launches an attack.
These major Baltic Sea naval drills will include 30 ships and over 30,000 Western service members, per the naval chief of Germany.
It is the first naval exercise of this massive size, being led by the German Navy, the biggest navy on the Baltic Sea. It will command the exercise from its new naval headquarters based in Rostock, which became operational recently.
Vice-Admiral Jan Christian Kaack told media in Berlin that commendable deterrence also involves the capability to attack, and these naval exercises will send a strong message to Russia that it cannot do as it pleases.
The naval exercise will last for 14 days and will commence on 9th September. It will involve forces from NATO nations and Sweden along with the non-Baltic allies, including the U.S., Belgium, France and the Netherlands. They will enact amphibious operations and precision strikes from the sea to land targets.
Mesa Verde, a 200 m long ship of the U.S. Navy, built to land 800 marines in an amphibious assault, will participate in the drills.
Safeguarding the Baltic Sea routes is vital as many countries like Finland and the Baltic Nations depend completely on the Baltic Sea for conducting maritime commerce.
Vice-Admiral Jan Christian Kaack stated that if the Suwalki Gap is blocked, which is quite easy, given there are just 2 roads and a railroad line, then what is left are only sea routes, which should be guarded.
Sulwalki Gap is a land corridor stretching 65 km. It is the only land route connecting Baltic nations to Poland and NATO’s primary European territory.
Germany is ready to provide its newly opened maritime headquarters to NATO as a regional headquarters to lead the alliance’s operations in the Baltic Sea if a conflict with Russia arises.
The geopolitical landscape of the Baltic Sea is about to change with the addition of Finland to NATO and Sweden, which will also become a part of the alliance soon. Both nations decided to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Hence, since Napoleonic times, a large chunk of the coast was a part of Neutral States, but now almost the entire coast will belong to the member countries of NATO.
References: The print, wionews
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