In June, Estonia will host three international military exercises focusing on improving cooperation between the participating forces – Saber Strike, BALTOPS, and Baltic Host. In total, the exercises will be attended by about a thousand allied soldiers, mostly from the United States.
Organized by the US Army Europe, Saber Strike will be held from June 11 to 22 in Estonia and Latvia. This year, Estonia will act as the host nation for the exercise, according to the acting head of the Defense Forces Operational Staff, Lt. Col. Rain Jano.
The tactical part of the exercise will be conducted at the Adazi training area in Latvia, while its command post will be located in Tapa and the participating US aircraft A-10 and KC-135 will be based at the Ämari Air Base in Estonia. Saber Strike will be attended by members of the defense forces from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Poland, and Norway.
The annual naval exercise BALTOPS that is held in the Baltic Sea is organized by the US Naval Forces Europe. During the exercise, US Marines will practice amphibious landing techniques as well as transporting equipment ashore in Estonia and Lithuania. Following the arrival of the US Navy's maritime prepositioning ship USNS Bobo at the Paldiski Harbor, enough weapons and equipment for a battalion's battle group-sized unit will be unloaded and readied for battle. The Estonian stage of the exercise will be held from June 4 to 22.
Baltic Host is a computer simulation-based exercise for practicing the reception of allied troops. Organized for the fourth time, the exercise will be held from June 27 to July 2 in Tartu. A crucial part of the exercise that is based on a fictional scenario will involve cooperation and coordination between the military and various civilian institutions, including hospitals, the Police and Rescue Board, the Estonian Road Administration, Port of Tallinn, and Estonian Railways.
"The common denominators for all of these exercises include the reception of allied troops and the cooperation between different types of armed forces and civilian institutions. This year, Estonia will take a leading role in the military exercises held in the Baltic states. By organizing these exercises, we demonstrate our capacity for international and internal cooperation and our readiness to receive our allies, not just for military operations, but also for humanitarian operations," explained Jano.