15:26 GMT28 July 2021
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    US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said that the annual multi-national Baltic Sea naval exercises, BALTOPS, may expand as demand for the drills grows.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — The annual multi-national Baltic Sea naval exercises, BALTOPS, may expand as demand for the drills grows, US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told Sputnik.

    "There is a desire, I think, to make those [BALTOPS drills] more meaningful exercises now, so we look for more participation, more scenarios…more complex scenarios," Richardson said on Thursday.

    In June 2015, fourteen NATO allies as well as Finland, Georgia, and Sweden took part in BALTOPS exercises. Nearly 50 ships, 61 aircraft and one submarine took part in the drills that featured anti-submarine warfare, air defense, amphibious landing, and other scenarios.

    The annual exercises may receive additional resources in the coming years, as the White House recently requested a total of $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI), to support NATO allies. The ERI funding was provided in response to what the United States and NATO have deemed a growing threat of Russia.


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    military drills, BALTOPS 2015, US Navy, Baltic Sea, US
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