10:09 GMT +324 June 2017
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    NATO troops make a massive amphibious landing off the coast of Ustka, northern Poland, during NATO military sea exercises BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) 2015 in the Baltic Sea

    Massive US-Led Military Drills in Baltics Include Over 50 Ships, 50 Aircraft

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    More than 50 aircraft and 50 ships and submarines will take part in the US-led BALTOPS drills that are set to begin on Thursday in the Baltic Sea region, the US European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Fourteen countries will take part in the drills, including NATO allies Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with NATO partner nations Finland and Sweden.

    "The exercise will involve 4,000 shipboard personnel, 50 ships and submarines and more than 50 aircraft, designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability, to strengthen combined response capabilities, as well as demonstrate resolve among allied and partner nation forces to ensure stability in, and if necessary defend, the Baltic Sea region," the statement said.

    BALTOPS has been conducted annually since 1972 and focuses on naval and amphibious training in the Baltic Sea region.

    This year's drills will begin on June 1 and end on June 16, according to EUCOM.

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    BALTOPS drills, United States, Baltics
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