DEFENCE, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NATO started a two-week US-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea with more than 7,000 sailors, airmen and marines from 16 nations, including two aspiring to join the military alliance, Finland and Sweden.
The annual BALTOPS naval exercise, initiated in 1972, is not held in response to any specific threat.
The naval drill, which involved 45 vessels and 75 aircraft. BALTOPS 22 is scheduled to end in the German port of Kiel on June 17. The United States has never before moved such a large warship as the 843-foot USS Kearsarge where it sailed through narrow passages in the Stockholm archipelago.
Finland and Sweden both have a long history of military non-alignment before their governments decided to apply to join NATO in May.