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NEWS | June 15, 2022

BALTOPS nations join forces to rehearse personnel rescue and recovery

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Public Affairs

NATO and partner nation forces worked together to practice Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR) procedures in a range of environments as part of exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 22. 

For the first year since 2019, the exercise included the practice of live recovery of personnel, and exercise participants executed a number of JPR events in Sweden, Latvia, and areas in the Baltic Sea. 

“The BALTOPS exercise is an excellent opportunity for NATO and partner nations to demonstrate their ability to operate together coherently, effectively and efficiently to recover personnel who may have become separated or isolated from their unit in a potentially dangerous environment,” said Joe Klein, BALTOPS JPR Lead. 

The tactical phase of the JPR portion of BALTOPS included two distinct scenarios. The first was a simulated Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel on land and the second simulated an at-sea rescue in the Baltic Sea.

“The development and practice of personnel recovery processes and procedures demonstrates a commitment to bring everyone back from their assigned missions,” said Klein. “Coordination was key to our success in the two scenarios, and I think we all learned a lot from practicing together in a multinational environment.”

BALTOPS 22 is the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region. The exercise, led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and executed by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, provides a unique training opportunity to strengthen the combined response capability critical to preserving the freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.