Search our content

HOME  /  Media Centre  /  News  /  - 2021  /  EXERCISE BALTOPS 50 AND NATO SHIPPING CENTRE

Jun 8 2021


BALTIC SEA – The 50th Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 50) exercise, the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, kicked off, June 6. 

Between June 6-18, air and maritime assets from 18 NATO Allies and partner nations will participate in live training events that include air defence, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations, maritime interdiction, mine countermeasure operations. NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) is taking part in the exercise and encourages the merchant community to contact the shipping centre if they have any questions. The NSC is the link between NATO and the merchant shipping community. The shipping centre is permanently manned and is the primary point of contact for the exchange of merchant shipping information between NATO's military authorities and the international shipping community.

BALTOPS is an annual military exercise, held and sponsored by Commander, United States Naval Forces Europe, since 1972, in the Baltic Sea and the regions surrounding it. BALTOPS is the premier maritime-led exercise in the Baltic Sea region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe. Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), headquartered in Oeiras, Portugal, has been leading the planning, coordination and execution of the exercise since 2015. BALTOPS 50 also has the core aim of delivering high-end training across the entire spectrum of naval warfare, including Anti-Aircraft Warfare, Air-Maritime integration, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, live gunnery and Mine Countermeasures operations, as well as Maritime Interdiction Operations and exercising against the Asymmetric Threat.

During the first six days, ships and aircraft will transit through the Danish Straits, focusing on maritime operations in critical chokepoints, ensuring access and freedom of navigation in the Baltic Sea.

The exercise will continue to move East during its two phases, operating in accordance with international law and supported by participating Allies and partners. The exercise will culminate with the TACEX phase, where the exercise paradigm will shift into a “free-play” portion, and commanders are given more freedom to run their own tactical programs. The TACEX phase is designed to better represent operating in real-world situations.

BALTOPS 50 involves participation from 18 nations. The 16 NATO and 2 partner nations will provide approximately 40 maritime units, 60 aircraft, and 4,000 personnel, between June 6-18.

The participating nations are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S.

NATO SHIPPING CENTRE can be contacted 24/7 at:

E-mail​ ​
​Telephone ​+44 (0) 1923-956574

Story by NSC

Search our content:


NATO Shipping Centre
Northwood HQ, Atlantic Building
Sandy Lane, Northwood HA6 3HP
United Kingdom

NSC Contact

​Telephone ​+44 (0) 1923-956574
​Fax ​+44 (0) 1923-956575