Today's BALTOPS amphibious landing epitomizes the United States' commitment to Estonia and our excellent cooperation, and serves as well as a powerful display of allied military capability. It represents but a small example of the much larger force that would be brought to bear in the case of any serious threat to maritime security in the Baltic Sea.
This exercise also demonstrates that from Afghanistan to Bosnia, from Iraq to Kosovo, on land and at sea, Estonia and the U.S. can rely on each other in peace and during conflict.
BALTOPS is the largest multinational exercise in the Baltic Sea. While it is a U.S. exercise at its roots, it is carried out "in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace," and promotes friendship and mutual understanding throughout the Baltic/Nordic area.
Alongside the U.S. and Estonia, there are 10 other participating nations, both NATO and non-NATO, this year.
This year BALTOPS includes sea and land operations with three important NATO partners, a maritime operation north of Poland, a Maritime Prepositioning offload in Latvia, and this amphibious landing and field training exercise here in Estonia.
A platoon of Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit) recon soldiers will be participating in the landing. The Kaitseliit soldiers have lived on the amphibious assault ship USS GUNSTON HALL for the past few days and trained hard with our Marines in order to make this landing.
Today's landing highlights the strength we derive as partners from exercising multinational operations. Because we routinely practice regional capabilities and procedures, we will be able to respond more quickly and effectively to any future crisis.
This is a proud day for U.S. and Estonian security ties and regional security!
( June 15, 2010, http://estonia.usembassy.gov/t... )
U.S. Ambassador Polt's Remarks at BALTOPS Landing Exercise in Loksa