Nato shows its teeth to Russia with elaborate Baltic training exercise

Thursday, June 18, 2015
By Paul Martin

Mock landing in Poland, just over 100 miles from Russian naval hub Kaliningrad, is an exhibition of allied strength but some say it could send a dangerous signal

Ewen MacAskill in Gdansk
GuardianUK
Wednesday 17 June 2015

Dozens of Nato landing craft churned through the Baltic’s grey waters. Further out at sea, huge warships – the US’s San Antonio, Britain’s Ocean and Poland’s Lublin – filled the horizon. On the beach, DVs – short for distinguished visitors – including the UK defence secretary, Michael Fallon, were watching.

The landing craft, especially the mega hovercraft of the Americans, were monstrous, on a scale that would have awed D-day veterans. Eurofighter Typhoons flew overhead. Marines raced out to disappear into the woods. A reminder that even the most carefully planned operations can go wrong came when a Polish transport vessel sank, ignominiously, about 100ft from shore.

The mock landing at Ustka, Poland, on Wednesday was the climax of a two-week Nato exercise called Baltops. Forty-nine naval vessels from 17 countries and 5,900 personnel were involved in this major show of strength.

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