Baltic Challenge 97, the second Baltic Challenge exercise, involved 2,800 personnel from nine nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ukraine and the United States. Focused primarily on peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, naval active and reserve forces demonstrated a range of capabilities that support operational objectives in Europe, including the stationing of a Maritime Prepositioning Force in the Baltic Sea. Additionally, reservists made up nearly 25% of the Marine Forces deploying to Estonia, showcasing the readiness and skill inherent in the "total force."
The United States and 11 European nations participated in Baltic Challenge 98, the largest peace support exercise held this year in the Baltic region. Conducted in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace (PFP) program, the exercise took place at sea, land and air training locations in and near Klaipeda on the western coast of Lithuania from July 10-25. The maritime phase started July 10, and the land phase of the exercise ran from July 16-25. BC 98 training events include: check point/observation, land and maritime convoy, mine awareness, counter sniper, patrol and aviation, medical, quick reaction, maritime mine, parachute, and humanitarian relief. Also, two U.S. maritime prepositioning ships will conduct training activities offshore.
About 4,600 military personnel, 17 ships and 22 aircraft, from Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the United States and from the multinational Baltic battalion participated in this year's exercise.
Baltic Challenge 98 was a series of training activities to develop common understanding of peace support operations. Baltic Challenge 98 training events included check point/observation, land and maritime convoy, mine awareness, counter sniper, patrol and aviation, medical, quick reaction, maritime mine, parachute, and humanitarian relief. Also, two U.S. maritime prepositioning ships conducted training activities offshore.
Two other exercises were run in conjunction with Baltic Challenge 98: Baltic Castle 98 and Medical Central and Eastern Europe 98-2 (MEDCEUR 98-2).
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