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NEWS | June 10, 2024

24th MEU (SOC) Deploys Aviation Detachment to Sweden for BALTOPS 24

By 24th MEU (SOC) Public Affairs Office

The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) deployed a detachment of U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jets, MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and personnel to Ronneby Airport in Kallinge, Sweden to conduct expeditionary advanced base flight operations in support of exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 24, June 9, 2024.

The aircraft are assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 365 (Reinforced), 24th MEU (SOC), which is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). While based at Ronneby Airport, the detachment is capable of self-sustaining and self-deploying in support of various events with NATO Allies during BALTOPS 24.

“Our self-deploying and self-sustaining detachment demonstrates the ARG-MEU’s ability to project force more than 900 nautical miles and establish a forward operating base in the Baltic region,” said Lt. Col. Cory Jobst, commanding officer, VMM-365 (REIN). “This expeditionary advanced base is a historic first with our longstanding partner, and newest NATO Ally, Sweden.”

The USS Wasp (LHD 1) and USS New York (LPD 21), with the Wasp ARG and embarked 24th MEU (SOC), are participating in BALTOPS 24. The Wasp ARG-24th MEU (SOC) is deployed to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations to support high-end warfighting exercises while demonstrating speed and agility in a dynamic security environment.

BALTOPS 24 is the premier maritime focused military 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 combined response capabilities critical to preserving freedom of navigation and security in the Baltic Sea.

BALTOPS 24 is also part of the U.S. Department of Defense exercise series, Large Scale Global Exercise (LSGE). LSGE is an umbrella term that incorporates several exercises and military activities, which enable the U.S. Joint Force to train with Allies and partners and improve shared understanding, trust and interoperability on security challenges across the globe.

While the exercise is led by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet, it will be command-and-controlled by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, headquartered in Oeiras, Portugal.

Details of BALTOPS activities and imagery are available at http://www.c6f.navy.mil. Media interested in covering the exercise should contact the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Public Affairs Office at mail to: cne_cna_c6fpao@us.navy.mil.