Story by PO2 Christopher Roys on 06/13/2019BALTIC SEA The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) participated in an amphibious landing on the Estonian coast while participating in exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019, June 12.
U.S. Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Spanish Marines assigned to 2nd Batallon De Desembarco, Brigada De Infanteria De Marina (2nd Landing Battalion, Marine Infantry Brigade) disembarked Fort McHenry on a landing craft utility (LCU) and landed on the shores of Estonia.
"The ability to successfully conduct operations such as an amphibious landing is a testimony to the professionalism of everyone involved," said Cmdr. Steve Schmidt, commanding officer of Fort McHenry. "The crew of Fort McHenry looks forward to continuing to train with our counterparts from the 22nd MEU and Spanish military while improving the interoperability of everyone involved in BALTOPS."
More than 30 Spanish Marines embarked Fort McHenry in Kiel, Germany, prior to the exercise's start date of June 9.
This marked the first multinational amphibious operation of BALTOPS 2019. Fort McHenry is scheduled to conduct multiple amphibious landings to display the importance of interoperability between partner nations.
BALTOPS is the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability among the 18 participating allied and partner nations.
Fort McHenry is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations with the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24), and U.S. Marines assigned to the 22nd MEU, headquartered in Camp Lejeune, N.C.