: NATO troops land in Finland for the first time ever

13:27 Jun. 6, 2016

NATO troops land in Finland for the first time ever

An air-cushion vehicle goes toward the beach as NATO troops participate in the NATO sea exercises BALTOPS 2015 that are to reassure the Baltic Sea region allies in the face of a resurgent Russia, in Ustka, Poland, June 17, 2015 (AP Photo)

Baltops 16 drills will take place on Hanko peninsula 

As part of the international naval exercise Baltops 16, NATO forces will arrive - for the first time ever - in Finland, which is not the Alliance member. It is reported by the Finnish channel Yle.

During three days, from June 6 to June 9, NATO troops will practice landing and fighting operations at the Syndalen army firing range, on the peninsula Hanko.

Read also Military drills 'Anaconda-2016' start in Poland

200 U.S. Marine Corps servicemen, 60 British soldiers, 50 German troops and an Italian reconnaissance platoon will take part in these joint military exercises.

The drills will also feature two warships - U.S. Navy dock landing ship USS Carter Hall and Royal Navy biggest ship HMS Queen.

Read also U.S. Navy destroyer to enter Black Sea

Baltops is the largest annual military exercise in the Baltic Sea. Finland has been taking part in the exercise for about twenty years, but it is the first time when the drills are held in the country.

18 NATO partners and allies - including 4,500 military personnel, 50 vessels, 60 flying craft and one submarine - are taking part in Baltops 16. This year marks the first time in the exercise's nearly half a century that Baltops has taken place so far north.

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