U.S. Marines landed in Klaipeda, Lithuania on 4 June 2018 as part of Baltic Operations 18 (BALTOPS 18), a U.S.-led naval exercise involving 20 NATO allies and two partner nations.
The Marines, part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, went on to train with their allies in Lithuania.
The purpose behind the exercise is to test NATO’s ability to rapidly
reinforce its flanks, and to bring together combat power from multiple nations
quickly, and in a way that is operationally effective.
USS Oak Hill is one of three ships in the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group.
Captain Brian Finman, Deputy Commodore of Amphibious Squadron Four, U.S. Navy:
“We’ve been assigned to participate in BALTOPS 2018, which is a joint multinational exercise for NATO nations. Our focus in this exercise is amphibious warfare. We’re going to conduct amphibious operations in the larger backdrop of STRIKEFORNATO’s broad maritime capabilities during BALTOPS 18. This exercise is really designed to create an environment where nations can come together, with our contribution being the amphibious piece of it, and projecting power from the sea onto land to demonstrate that NATO has both the capability and the resolve to put power ashore, and influence events to ensure regional stability.
Video includes shots of U.S. Marines preparing for and launching an amphibious assault from the USS Oak Hill in Klaipeda (Lithuania), as well as an interview with U.S. Navy Captain Brian Finman, Deputy Commodore of Amphibious Squadron Four.
BALTOPS 18 is an annual exercise intended to demonstrate the maritime readiness and capabilities of the U.S. and its NATO allies, while giving them a chance to train together and build working relationships.