The U.S. Navy Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) concluded two successful training events with the Swedish Armed Forces and Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 while operating in the Baltic Sea.
“The opportunities to participate in combined training events with both Swedish and NATO forces demonstrated the importance of maritime and amphibious capability and readiness,” said Capt. Aaron Kelley, commanding officer of the Kearsarge ARG and Amphibious Squadron SIX. “The Kearsarge ARG-MEU team is dedicated to operating alongside NATO Allies and partners as a capable and combined maritime force to ultimately ensure security and stability in the Baltic region.”
During the week-long Swedish interoperability, the ARG-MEU team conducted ship to shore operations, a raid in Ravlunda, and an airfield seizure ashore. At sea, ARG ships conducted military subject matter expert exchanges and maneuvering drills.
“The chance to come to Sweden and train with the Swedish Armed Forces was an outstanding experience for my Marines,” said Col. Paul Merida, commanding officer of the 22nd MEU. “The opportunity to conduct ship-to-shore maneuvers via surface craft and Marine aviation allowed us to practice one of our fundamental skill sets and helps to keep us combat ready. Even better was training alongside a key regional partner. Our Swedish hosts were extremely accommodating and the Swedish military is a first class and superbly professional organization.”
Immediately following the bilateral training with Sweden, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU transitioned to a maritime-focused exercise with SNMG1, a ready force continuously available to NATO, establishing Alliance presence and providing maritime capability in peacetime as well as during crisis and conflict.
"The exercise with the Amphibious Ready Group was a great opportunity to demonstrate the integration and flexibility of NATO's maritime forces,” said Commodore Jeanette Morang (RNLN), Commander, SNMG1. “The diversity of assets available provides unique options to test and improve interoperability. This is what we mean with the NATO motto #StrongerTogether"
During the multinational training event, U.S. and SNMG1 maritime forces conducted cross-deck flight operations, maneuvering drills, a replenishment-at-sea interoperability, small boat personnel exchanges across all participating SNMG and ARG ships, simulated training scenarios, as well as a medical exchange and drill.
Together, the Kearsarge ARG-MEU operates in the Baltic region alongside NATO partners and Allies to demonstrate solidarity and maintain a high level of readiness.